Have you ever seen Victor Wooten play bass? It borders on something spiritual. He just gets absolutely lost in it, and you can tell that he is completely in his element, like he’s doing what he was made to do. When asked about an album he recorded that was solely comprised of bass and vocals – one that was met with skepticism – he responded, “I mean, you can live a whole lifetime trying to please everyone else, and I think that’s what most other people do. They make records that are going to have the mass appeal, but a lot of times you end up forsaking your own joy and things that you like to do…My goal was to make a record that I was pleased with, totally.” What an honest example of being true to oneself.
Everybody wants that, to be their true self that they were created to be. But what exactly is that true self? Isaiah writes about a time when Israel will be brought back home from exile and restored to the Lord.
I will say to the north, “Give them up!” and to the south, “Do not hold them back.” Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.
Look at those words again: whom I created for my glory. That is precisely who we were created to be, people who give glory to God. We were created to display that glory like wild eagles or gorgeous sunsets. We were made to be beautiful for the Lord.
This has implications in everything that we do, including the way that we create. As worship designers, or curators of worship among our churches, our first desire should simply be to make something beautiful for God. Unfortunately the pureness of this gets clouded when our attention is directed, too much, toward the people that we mean to lead. Sometimes we find that we are creating for our people instead of creating for God. Now it’s true, thank the Lord, that quite often something that is beautiful to God is also beautiful and moving to his people. But while those two things can exist simultaneously, only one can be our primary motive. This is actually a liberating thought. Instead of writing or planning while trying to figure what’s going to connect with people or what people are going to like, we can simply write and plan with this question in mind: Is this beautiful to God?
If we can find a way to really be ourselves as we create, the selves that God designed us to be, we will be able to work with the kind of freedom that produces the most beautiful things. A created thing will always display its creator’s glory best when it functions in the way that it was designed. So when you create, have fun! Get lost in it, find freedom in the Spirit, and be the creation and the creators that you were made to be.