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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Reflecting on Goethe ~ Thoughts on Faith and Creating

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe,   1749-1832

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy – the chance to draw back.  Always ineffectiveness.
    Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth ~ the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. The moment that one definitely commits one’s self  - then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.  Whatever you can do or dream you can – begin it! Boldness has genius, power,
and magic in it!” 

I recently came upon this quote from Goethe, and it found its way deeply into my mind as I turned this over and thought about it for the next few days.  As an artist, it resonated with me and hit at some of the areas where I continually struggle.  Here are some of my thoughts as I challenge myself regarding his statement of more than 200 years ago. 

           Goethe did not operate his life based on faith as the Bible explains faith, so perhaps some modifications are needed in his statement.  But, it also seems true, thinking about my own experience, that many ideas (particularly ideas related to my artistic expression) are perhaps planted as ideas by the Spirit of God.  They are ideas that need development.  They need pursuit.  Very likely, they are ideas that God’s Spirit would very much like to be in partnership with me in their pursuit.  And that requires my faith.  It requires commitment.  Pursuing a dream or a vision requires bold steps forward rather than hesitancy. Once the decision to embark is made and the first steps are taken, then and only then, can He move in mysterious ways ~ to open doors, to facilitate, to give His favor.
            So, the question is – do I have faith…the daring faith to imagine?  To dream and envision ~ all with an attitude of prayerfulness while listening for affirmation to go forward - not being tentative in every notion… not being fearful that maybe my ideas are unattainable, ridiculous, or not from His Spirit.   That is hesitancy. Drawing back. This often take the form of excuses or a million other things crowding out the small voice of ideas and possibilities. 
            Instead, might it not be true that the ideas that arrive by that small voice possibly could be work that would please and glorify Him… and that IF I would only make that committed to start, He would joyfully come alongside and bless and guide and bring about the realization of my idea. That cannot happen without a committed start.
            For me as an artist, I need to start by listening to that voice and envision an artistic work.  I need to make a beginning and seek His direction. Once a beginning is made, then keep a steady motion going forward without losing the vision.  Doors open. Favor is given.  He moves on my behalf to help; to add to it in ways I could not have achieved or imagined alone… and He is honored. His kingdom is enhanced. Value is added to the world that might have otherwise remained unrealized.
            So, I dare myself to imagine!  To be willing to imagine way beyond the limits and boundaries of what I think might be possible. Then take the first steps!  With the Spirit of God involved, there really are no limits or boundaries.  This mindset does not come naturally to me.  Boldness does not reside within me. But scripture speaks of faith in this way – even faith as small as a mustard seed grows to be very large indeed.  This is the way to be part of His work, to bring value into the world that craves it!

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