A few months ago I revealed myself with great flourish and courage in my first ever blog. For a moment, I was so proud of myself. I allowed myself a few seconds to marinate in the compliments of a few friends and family members. Looking back, I had dared only to reveal myself to a chosen few.
In my experience, revealing has been an intimidating ingredient of the creative process. There are some artists that choose only to reveal their creations once the paint is dry. Other artists prefer to collaborate and welcome input. I never understood how the Renaissance artists would gather and paint together. I tend to freeze when I know someone is standing over my shoulder as I am doing something.
While I have grown, developed and changed in the last six months: I have been stuck. Being stuck has been a rather familiar position to me. Every so often I ask my mom to remind me of the little girl who wasn’t stuck. That little girl wasn’t inhibited by rules. She’d color with both hands. She could write a word upside down and inside out. I wouldn’t even know what that looked like now. But for a moment: that little girl wasn’t intimidated to be who she knew to be.
Great artists are a lot like that little girl. Great artists aren’t doing. Great artists involve themselves in creating. Children invest their time in being. Whether in a group or with an imaginary friend: children don’t worry about doing. When did we learn to do things?
I can imagine the Great Creator as he fashioned Adam. He was fully confident in Himself. He fully believed in His ability, talent and authority to create. I tend to believe God was at His most vulnerable state as He created Adam. I wonder if any of the angels questioned God. Would His finished product would be worth the price He would pay? God bankrupted heaven to remain true to the creative work He began. God refused to be distracted and He revealed Himself through His creation. He did not doubt Himself.
Six months ago, I took a step towards revealing myself. Honestly, in that moment I became distracted by voices from the past taunting “Who are you? What authority released your voice?” Rather than continuing to reveal myself I began to justify measures of procrastination. I have learned that procrastinators aren’t necessarily lazy. Procrastinators can be the busiest people on the planet. Procrastinators are simply powerful beings in hiding.
After the fall, the first choice Adam and Eve made was to hide. Genesis 3:9: “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” God knew where Adam was. In that moment, God issued a call for repentance: a change of direction. What did God care more about? Adam and Eve had missed the mark. However, I wonder if God hoped Adam would respond to His voice, locate and reposition himself from a place of hiding into lifestyle of transparency.
I have missed the mark many times. In each step away from the best life God had to offer He would ask, “Where are you?” I have tried hiding. I have evaded taking responsibility for my actions just as Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed Satan. I wonder if Adam was cursed not because he listened to Eve but because He didn’t listen to God. How many times have I tuned out the voice of God to hear what I want to hear?
The thought of revealing our true selves can be intimidating. But the question is: Who is trying to intimidate me? More importantly: By hiding myself, who am I hurting? How many lives aren’t being touched because I have sought safety in memorializing one small success made six months ago? If God were to ask, “Where are you?” I would honestly reply, “I have been burying my talent…but NEXT TIME!”
While I have been in hiding for six months, before revealing myself, I sought an author that I respect to mentor me. I wasn’t clear or eloquent. I probably drove him a little daft. I awkwardly asked for help in the best way I could. I encourage you to find a mentor who will not let you wiggle backwards.
King David was a man after God’s own heart. He too, sinned and yet he chose to lean into the chaos he created by revealing himself. Psalm 139: 23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” By revealing ourselves we are positioned to understand God in much deeper levels. If you want to know God, to be His friend, you will be revealed.