The tormented artist

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Read time: 3min

There is this belief that artists can only create their best work when they are miserable. Just look at Vincent van Gogh, he lived with only one ear, in poverty, but created absolute masterpieces!

As a creative myself, I have tried and tested this belief and found the exact opposite to be true.

I find the times that I do my best, most creative work is when I am happy, inspired and enjoying life.

I have a confession to make; I have been avoiding writing. Why? Because when the skies turn grey and the storm clouds gather our motivation gets washed away by the storms of life. 

During this time I felt like I couldn’t write what I planned to write because those topics and truths didn’t feel true at this moment in my life. 

And that's OK.

These past few weeks have been tough. I am not yet able to express in words what has been going on. Maybe sometime soon, but not now. So that left me feeling a bit adrift.

During this strange phase, I had a realization. That just like as an artist actually does their best work when they are happy. We operate our best to contributing to the Kingdom of God when it is well without soul and body. Not only that, but God wants us to operate out of a place of being content and out of a place of rest. Because He knows that is when we do our best work for His kingdom. 

Because in this state we become impatient. We disregard people, leaving hurt and wounded hearts in our wake. Whereas we are normally more patient, encouraging and joyful. Helping spread His love and peace.

But we can’t always be happy robots and God doesn't expect us to be. Through our life journey we pick up offence, hurt and it burdens us. We find it difficult to see things from God's perspective when we are in a slump. And sometimes we find ourselves in a slump that we can't easily get out of. 

And that's OK.

We weren't meant to do life alone and during some seasons we need more help than in others. But in other seasons we will be doing the helping again. Like everything in life slumps are cyclical. Before I would have said you just need to power through, endure the tough times. But I think we should rather approach tough times with the idea of journeying through them. Like climbing a mountain, some sections of the journey will leave us out of breath and or leg muscles aching, but once you break through the tree line we start to see the horizon. And during the forest, we should rather turn our attention to the birds cheering on our weary body. And once we summit... Wow, there is no better feeling... Being so close to heaven you can step into it, seeing all your challenges in perspective. Gaining the vision to see a new horizon you never knew existed.

Still, in my slump, I want to encourage you, don’t stop pursuing God through the midst of the storm. And through the happy days give Him praise, encourage and build into others. But, if like me you are feeling a bit downtrodden.

Be brave. 

For we are promised that this too shall pass. Tomorrow the sun will rise and brighten our day.

Here's to a new decade!
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