Recently, I was listening to an interview with George Barna, one of the foremost authorities on statistics today. He was speaking about the changing nature of the church and how we as a people have turned into consumers of everything, including church. In other words, church has become a place we go to “consume” a spiritual fix and then leave and continue on for the week.
Of course, this isn’t at all what the Apostle Paul or the early apostles intended when writing their letters. Rather, they saw the church as a living organism of individuals meeting together—individuals whom embodied their faith through and through. Church wasn’t a place anyone would “go to,” but rather it was who they were when together.
As an author, something quickened in me about the similar way many of us writers approach our writing: As consumers. We sit down, bang out whatever our deadlines dictate and enjoy the sense of accomplishment. What’s missing however is the embodiment of our art. We’re missing the profoundness of what we do, as well as the fullness of it, through and through.
Recently my mother introduced us to FOX network’s “So You Think You Can Dance?” In this show, a group of late teens and early twenty-somethings compete to become America’s Favorite Dancer. The dances are often fabulous, but after watching a couple seasons, you begin to discern something different about certain contestants: Some begin to embody their art.
Like a great actor, some will perform a three-minute dance and when it’s finished, they’ll be in tears with unbridled emotion at their own performance. They’ll tell you in after-interviews that they became so lost in the piece that they forgot they were performing their art. They forgot their steps. They just went with it. These are the dancers that really receive something from the show; not those who are crowned.
This has challenged me to wonder: How often have I been tried to make sure every step—every word on a page—is correct, but never really let myself just go with it? Have I ever been pushed to tears with unbridled emotion by the words that escape my own fingertips? Or has my consumerist nature pushed that artist down into the safe house of my being and run away with the key?
Here’s to discovering the true, passionate nature of writing God has put within us!
How do you feel your consumerist nature has sabotaged your best writing efforts?[youtube id=”ub9h5LNW7dY”]