There have always been creators. To us creating is a display of God’s image in the world. Creating is an ache in our spirit; a compulsive reaching out to those who share life with us. We can no more not create than we can not breathe. Though there is a longing for our creations to be affirmed and applauded – anyone who denies that is lying to you – there is a deeper hunger to do the act of creating. The feel of a brush on canvas; the weight of a pen in the hand; a particular word that completes a poetic phrase – these are to our souls as oxygen is to our lungs. Though no one responds, still we must offer. Perhaps the next painting will invoke a response; the next book, the next poem, the next song…
And success? Now, as I look back over my life, I have a much different perspective than I did in my youth. I see those things I created, and they are good. I know they have blessed the few people they have touched. And now I can put them to rest where they belong; in God’s hands. If there comes a time when He wants them widely known, they will be. If not, they were infinitely satisfying in their creation.
Again, as I look back over my life, I see the successes that mean so much more than any amount of fame could supply. I asked God to give me acclaim and the praise of my peers; He gave me good children who rise up and call me blessed. I asked God to make me financially successful; He gave me a beautiful home set amidst towering pines given by those I loved. I asked God to make my name known; He gave me a husband who knows me and loves me just as I am.
Our family has never been abundantly wealthy, but we have never gone without food or clothes or a warm fire. We did not have expensive indulgences or travel to exotic places, but we’ve had those small blessings that mean most because they were a surprise or a loving gift.
Success is relative. Success is fleeting. Success is a carrot leading a donkey down many a rocky road. Success is OK if it happens, OK if it doesn’t. It’s the road one takes to get to the destination that builds the soul. The road has been worth it.
From WITH HEART DIVIDED by Donna Swanson c.