Click above to listen to Wherever You Go as you read (from my 8th album Open Spaces). If you enjoy, visit the online store to order the CD or MP3 Album or PDF Sheet Music. You can also download or stream on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Pandora.
Are you cultivating the artist child inside you?
The photo below is from the 8th grade talent show, when I performed Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree. But this did not happen naturally or easily. In kindergarten and early elementary school I stuttered when I talked. I am still reminded of this today, whenever I say the word “reward” with the “r” and “w” sounds. Even though I began piano lessons at six years old, well into my teenage years my right leg would always shake when I played for an audience. And, in the 7th grade I wanted to quit piano lessons because it did not seem cool anymore, and I wanted to focus on basketball.
As I started writing songs in high school, both piano and basketball were my two favorite things in life. However, as I looked ahead to a college education and career, the voices speaking into my life all said “You are a good at math and science, and a smart student. You should be an engineer.” Very few people, if any, believed that piano or basketball could be a career choice. Guess what began to happen to the artist child inside me? Conformity began to overtake creativity. Fear began to replace child-like faith.
I just finished reading The Artisan Soul by Erwin McManus, who for fifteen years has been a voice God has used to inspire me to nurture the artist inside me, and to seize divine moments. Erwin writes (viewing God as our Creator), “…we are both works of art, and artists at work. At first our soul is like a canvas where others begin to paint the portrait of who we are. Slowly as we develop and mature, we take the brush into our own hands and continue painting our own lives.”
I have also been meditating on Psalm 139, which has an amazing section… “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day” (The Message).
I hope these thoughts, and some part of my life story inspire you to nurture and cultivate the artist child inside you. God has given each of us a unique set of passions and abilities. I encourage you to visit yours often, to practice them with a spirit of child-like faith and adventure. Be sure to make time to create. Don’t replace your creativity with conformity. You are an original work of art!
What step can you take to cultivate the artist child inside you?
P.S. Wherever You Go was carefully chosen as the music stream for this post. The song was influenced by some music rhythm and life conversations with my teenage son, and was inspired by Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.“