Pleasing God by Sitting on My Butt

“I’ve heard there was a secret chord that David played and it pleased the Lord”
That line isn’t just a really cool opening  to a song by Leonard Cohen
it contains a freeing truth that more creative Christians should receive
like a whizzing pass from Tom Brady and run with it all the way to the end zone.
What pleases the Lord is for each of us to follow Jesus and fully inhabit His very specific idea of us.
David was certainly a warrior.
It pleased the Lord when he went out against Goliath
and when he entered battle against the Philistines.
It pleased the Lord to make David king
and for David to fulfill his kingly responsibilities.
But, David was also a poet and a shepherd boy who spent hours talking with God
and this pleased the Lord so well
we are still privy to those poems, those prayers, those intimate conversations
through the book of Psalms.
David pleased God with a sword in his hand
but he also pleased him with a harp in his lap
or sitting on his butt
watching clouds on a hill
just composing his thoughts.
Creativity involves a lot of time staring into space,
it’s not a spectator sport,
there’s little glory in watching a writer sit at the keyboard
or a musician practice scales,
an artist sketch and sketch and sketch
or a photographer set up a shoot
and it doesn’t always look to others like the spiritual equivalent
of preaching a sermon
or feeding the hungry
or clothing the homeless
no matter what it looks like to others
it pleases the Lord
and when we please the Lord, we can rest in that.
Are you a creative person?
Has God placed a passion for creativity on your heart,
in your mind,
in your tapping toes or your strumming hands?
Do you feel His pleasure when you write or dance or paint or design a building or compose a song?
Be free, loved one.
We are the body of Christ together. You don’t need to reflect every aspect of Him alone.
It can be lonely to create
and there are hours that can feel wasted when we write a scene or entire novel only to scrap it
or we paint something that isn’t perfect
or we try a thousand different combinations until we have just the right moves for a dance.
But if anyone understands our hearts
and the effort involved in creating something amazing,
it’s the Creator God.
So rest easy.
We please Him when we’re about His business.
Sometimes that means feeding the poor
and sometimes that means learning to write engaging dialog.
A cup of soup can inspire a hungry body to reach out to Jesus
but a poem
or a painting
or a story can inspire a hungry soul to reach out to Jesus, too.
To express that which is buried deep within us
striving to surface
with words or images or music or movement
this is a beautiful thing
and God created beauty
and He is beautiful
and the human spirit gasps for beauty like water or air.
If God has gifted you to do this, well, it’s not rocket science, it pleases Him when you do.
Create with freedom, loved ones.
We are free
and He is pleased
even if we serve Him by sitting on our butts.

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    The Conversation

  1. Jeanne Doyon says:

    Thank you for this. Freedom is permission to be who I am in Christ. Not feeling like I have to be everything to everyone.

  2. Yes Lori, it is most appropriate for you to applaud the people with scratchpads, paint palettes, metronomes and mixing bowls. Paul at the beginning of the First Letter to the Corinthians spoke up for the seeming foolishness of God’s kind of wisdom. The same might be said for artistic creativity in this pocket calculator age.

  3. tina hunt says:

    Thank you…permission to be creative…freedom to take the time, to make the time…freedom…glorious freedom…I bet there weren’t many artistic types of folks among the Pharisees….

  4. Thank you for the encouragement to take time to sit in God’s presence without excuse. Pray you’re hearing yourself. 😉

  5. WOW. Yes. Thank you for this. Be still and know. And create.

  6. Thank you thank you thank you! I am a fellow writer and the butt-sitting happens. It has to at some point in each day right? At this moment I am standing at my kitchen counter typing away and reading blogs. But when I am ready to get serious and really create some good writing for others to read, then I move the laptop and myself to the couch.
    So yes, the butt-sitting must happen.
    AND seeing a blog title with both the words, “God” and “Butt” in it…I HAD to some by and read it. Such a clever writer you are. You knew we could not resist such a title! Ha!

  7. Carol Weeks says:

    I appreciate this so much. I’ve got a little baby speaking and writing ministry. Last year I spoke at a few places. This year it seems that God wants me to study, read, and write. Plus my hobby is sitting, so it works out pretty well. I’m also glad to know I’m not the only one who just stares into space. It seems stuff has to marinate awhile in my head before I can attempt to write it down…

  8. Oh, Lori, you are preaching to my heart. When things don’t go well in my writing world, I wonder why I don’t stick to my first career, occupational therapy. Helping patients in the hospital must please God… and it certainly pays better than writing. Thank the Lord I can work part-time and still write!

  9. Lori – Your posts always speak to me but this one…wow did it nail my task-oriented butt to the chair. 🙂

  10. sheri says:

    I loved this blog of your thoughts and insights! Love it when this happens in my life…needs to happen more. You’ve expressed in your gift of writing what I needed to hear and appears that many others did too! Thank you!

  11. Betty Jo says:

    Thank you Lori so much for this timely post. I’ve been having a pity party, just me and Jesus, all about my creativity. I’m a digital scrapbook graphic’s designer, photographer as a hobby (although I’ve won contests), and I’m beginning to write a little (mostly on my blog but have started my first novelette). Why the pity party? Because I’ve felt these things were “secondary” to what God wants of me. I have severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), which keeps me from even attending church, much less helping with my son and family’s ministry to inner-city at-risk youth, etc. Your post is a reality check for me. If God wanted me out doing other things, then I’d be healed, and out doing them. Instead He has chosen a lonely life of creativity for me, and I had better get off. . . no. . . on my butt and get ‘er done! I’m copying your post word for word, and keeping it as a file on my desktop, so I can refer back to it each time I fall into the “pity” thing again. ((( Hugs )))

  12. Anonymous says:

    As you know, I spent a lot of time alone preparing a curriculum for Sunday school this year. And I faced a lot of opposition. But I knew what I had was a God-given vision. I told the teachers “if we work together as a team and use the curriculum I was lead to prepare, we’d see our Sunday school increase.” Yesterday, our first Sunday school of the new season, we had double the number of children, the teachers were excited, and I knew God had confirmed that the time I spent alone, preparing the curriculum, was time serving Him. It was so good to read your blog and get another confirmation that He loves it when we “choose the better part” and spend time with Him. Thank you for reminding me. MOMMA

  13. Mary says:

    Lori, sorry for dropping by a little late. I’m back from the conference and had time to read this. LOVE it!! You’re right, it’s easy to think that sitting on your butt isn’t productive God time, but it is when it’s being employed to utilize your creative gifts, it is glorifying to God! I needed this reminder!

    Praying for you Lori! Thanks for posting this. 🙂

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