Dream.Risk.Create

“In the beginning God created…” You and I are made in the image of God and one of the implications is that we are creative beings. At Sipping n’ Painting (the little art studio business that we own) it is very common to witness people’s apprehension, hear the objection “I’m not creative” and watch the hesitation around the idea of being artistic. Somewhere along the way someone drew a line in the sand and put a small percentage of the kids on the creative side of the line and the rest of us on the other side of that imaginary line. As a result, most of us believe and even say, “I’m not an artist, I’m just not the creative type.” But I don’t believe it, I think every human being is made in the image of God and there is no one more creative and artistic than the designer of this planet earth.  Just consider…aspen leaves turning and twirling in the wind, oh my! Underwater life, are you kidding me? A duckbill platypus, a baby kangaroo in their mamas’ pouch…and all the wild characters in my family! What creativity, what imagination, what incredible art!

I think the thing that stands in the way of our creating is a little word called risk. We can dream, but in order for our dreams to move from dream mode alone to actual work of creation we must take a risk. It is the risk that holds us back. It is the unknown, the fear, and the potential for failure that keeps us dreaming but never creating. Sometimes I think the place where walking with Jesus gets exciting is at the moment when we leave the familiar, and dreams in hand, we step out in faith to co-create with God. It is risky, which is probably why we do it so rarely. Each week in our staff meeting we review the week. We ask: what went right? wrong? What was missing? confusing? And we always end by asking ourselves: what did we do this week that was risky?

My hope and prayer is that our church can be a place where we encourage Spirit-led risk taking. I hope we can put courage in one another when fear paralyzes us from pursing the grander vision God has planted in our hearts. I pray we become for each other the incarnational presence of Jesus that is needed to follow God into the creative and unfamiliar places He is leading.

Risk & Opportunity

A couple years ago, I co-opened a business called Sipping n’ Painting; my partners and I recently signed a lease to expand to a second location.  Several people in my life have warned me about “managing my risk” in opening the second studio.  I consider this wise counsel, and I also consider it only one side of a double- sided coin.  What about “managing the opportunity?”  or better yet, “stewarding the opportunity?”  Last year, Sipping n’ Painting received a small business grant, and I think it is just as important to steward the opportunity of that grant and the gift of current momentum in this business as it is to manage the risk involved in expanding.

The same is true for you. God has given you gifts.  You can lead, or teach, or pioneer new things, or host, or serve, or sing, or play, or innovate, or create, or come alongside.  Are you stewarding that gift? Are you stewarding the opportunities in your life today? Jesus told a story where he cautioned his followers not to “bury [their] talents” in the ground.  We can bury our talents (or bury the talents of others) when we become so risk-adverse, so consumed with “managing the risks,” that we lose sight of the opportunity we need to steward. 

Has the Spirit led you to venture into risky territory? What steps can you take today to wisely manage the associated risk AND courageously invest your talents?