Our Arts Team at our West Campus met this past week and spent time watching a message on excellence. One of the big ideas for myself as a creative that has, in the past, run through my head when it comes to excellence is that it is stifling.
I get the idea of being legalistic and perfectionistic in bed with excellence and those are not the same thing at all.
This is not a blog to defend “excellence” but instead a way to view excellence that lets your creative brain feel okay about that word.
As a parent when we go into our backyard the kids run, play, fight, etc. I get to hang out and watch over the whole situation, but I have to be on guard to make sure that no one goes by the back corner because there is a hole in our fence. If a kid gets back there they can easily get out of the yard and be two streets over before I know it. My complete experience in the backyard isn’t free to be fun with the kids and let myself be engulfed in their world because I’m so aware of that hole, so my time is necessarily spent mending that fence. While I’m mending fence I’m missing out.
The truth remains that if I had gone out first and fixed that hole then when we hit the backyard we are all free to have a Finding Neverland time together secure in this area that I’ve created.
Take that principle and put it into your creative world. Excellence and preparation are the fence. When I have done the work to program an excellent worship service I have my yard to create an experience that is founded in truth. When I’m writing a song the fence is my working gear, a tuned guitar, a rested mind and heart. When an artist is drawing the fence is their sketch pad, free time, sharpened pencils. When a photographer is shooting the fence is charged batteries, empty memory cards, their bag of available lenses, the knowledge of their camera’s intricacies.
If our time that we have is spent mending fences only then we will never have the time to truly be creative in the yard.
The mending can be the mundane, but it is necessary. Pattern your life to include mending your fences, so that you don’t lose the chance to experience life in the yard.