‘It’s a good song,’ he said to her, ‘It’s just the first verse that needs a little more work.’
We were sitting in a semi-circle, me and a handful of other Christian songwriters. One woman had taken the courageous step of sharing her song with us. We were in the delicate process of giving her some constructive feedback.
She shook her head. ‘Write the first verse again?’ she said with a hint of disbelief. ‘Do you have any idea how hard it was to write that verse first time around?’
A giggle rippled around the semi-circle. We have all been there. We know how hard it is to wrestle words and chords into the right shape.
But the feedbacker didn’t give up. ‘Think about it,’ he encouraged. ‘You can rewrite that verse as many times as you need to, because we know the Creator of the Universe, and he can help us recreate things over and over.’
’We know the Creator of the Universe, and he can help us recreate things over and over.’
That conversation did something to my brain. Something clicked, two distant parts of a thought coming together and making perfect sense.
I had previously viewed creativity as lightning strikes. ‘I can’t believe I wrote that! What a fluke. That will never happen again.’ I had told myself I must wait for inspiration to strike, and then I must write, or compose, as fast as possible, before the fleeting moment escapes.
But I had not considered God’s infinite creativity, and how we can ask for that.
I had not considered God’s infinite creativity and how we can ask for that.
God is a creative. Have you ever seen a sunset? Every single day, God redrafts and reworks the beauty of the setting sun, spinning clouds and light together in wonderful harmony. He is constantly creative in our hearts, in our relationships, in his creation, finding new ways to express his love and beauty in the world around us.
Why not ask God for help with rewriting?
God has given us infinite rivers of living water, his Spirit, to help us. John 7:37-39 says, ‘[Jesus] cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” (He said this in regard to the Spirit…)’ (MSG)
We have the Spirit abiding and breathing within us, an unstoppable source of living water. That river will never run dry. God’s love and redemption and creativity will never run dry.
We have the Spirit abiding and breathing within us…That river will never run dry.
Let’s turn to the One who created this beautiful world, the One who created music and colour and laughter, the One who wants to fill us with his Spirit. Let’s listen for the whispers of the Spirit as we create, following his nudges and promptings, trusting his guidance. Let’s open our minds to his ideas. Rather than wrestling, let’s invite the Spirit to breathe on our creative projects, filling them with his life-giving essence.
May the Holy Spirit flow in and through our creative efforts, bringing others living water.
What creative projects are you working on? Are you redrafting at the moment? How might the Spirit be able to help you? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.