The other night my wife went to bed early. My head hit the pillow long after hers. I’d sat in the kitchen fiddling with my blog site, frustrated that I didn’t know html or css. Angry that i didn’t know everything. Feeling like I didn’t know anything. Sensing all the while that something else was really at the core of my frustration. As I laid down I tried to quiet a growing discomfort.
It wouldn’t quiet. The day had been a long one. I was hopelessly exhausted, but my heart wouldn’t sleep. I finally drifted off a couple hours later but slept fitfully. I woke up the next morning and couldn’t drag myself out from under the covers. There was a heaviness that was deeper than exhaustion. Throughout the morning I would be playing on the floor with Finnden, and my thoughts would wander off into…nothing.
Karen asked me what was wrong, and I couldn’t give it words.
I’m not a stranger to the seasons of life. There are long stretches—months at times—when I am gregarious and funny. There are also long stretches where I am quiet, withdrawn even. This was neither of these.
Hoping that I was just tired, I tried to take a nap. I could scarcely close my eyes before they’d fly back open. I began to pray, and after awhile the word “loathing” was playing over and over in my head. I sat up on the edge of the bed with the realization that I was profoundly disgusted with myself.
My thoughts returned to the night before, when I’d first started feeling this way. What had I been doing?
I’d been trying, rather unsuccessfully, to edit the html of my blog. My blog. A blog I hadn’t touched in months. A blog that I wanted to be a creative outlet for my soul. A blog that I hoped could spurn others to live out their creative calling.
But I hadn’t been creative in so long. As I looked back on the past few months it was like a wide desert. No life. And there I was, trying to breathe life into it through distraction.
I am called to be creative. It’s at the very centre of who I am. Like eating, drinking, breathing, it is a necessary part of what keeps me alive, what makes me who I am. I am entrusted with the nature of a creative God; I am called to act out of that nature. I need to be creative. It is my worship. It is the most clear way I’ve been given to put on display who my God is.
When I am not creative I begin to loathe myself because I am not myself; I am not the self I was made to be.
When I am not creative I cease to be what I am meant to be.
And so this week I’ve been creative. I’ve been making space and buckling down and getting to work. And it feels good. It feels freeing. It feels…right.