Here is exciting news: We are in the process of writing new songs that we will get to sing with you soon!
Here is other exciting news: Some days its super awesome when we get together and write.
Here is not-so exciting news: Some days, it’s really, really difficult.
One reason among the hundreds as to why its difficult has been on my mind. It’s the whole idea of being “new” and “edgy”… honestly, it makes me uncomfortable. It doesn’t sit right. Not because new trends always fade into old, but because focusing on how to be new and different is steering focus away from the Main Thing and ultimately, is pretty exhausting.
Do I believe in “new”? Absolutely. Biblically, there is new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), new hearts (Ezekiel 36:26), new Heavens and new Earth (Revelation 21:1), and so many more. God is all about bringing in the new and wiping away the past. God creates the new life. New is a huge focal point of the Gospel! I still have a hard time though, especially while creating corporate worship songs, not being pressured into creating through the world’s definition of the word “new”. If we aren’t careful, we tend to define “new” as the latest, the hippest, and sometimes its the most abstract that we can find. Whereas the biblical interpretation of “new” is based from the truth of a forever changed heart, creation, etc. The world bases it off of other people’s creations. Biblically, new actually refers to divine transformation, not merely an updated version of the past.
Until a few weeks ago, there was this nagging voice in my head, full of selfish ambition, pride, and depravity saying: “You have to be different than the people that went before you for fear of being associated with them. You have to be the newest and coolest version. Even if you are not, you need to pretend like you are. Facades have turned into the real deal… didn’t you know that? New means different, Melissa, and it means you will get noticed. If you are not, you will be failing. Your reputation depends on this. So no matter what, try as hard as you can to be as different as possible. Don’t worry… people will accept you then.”
What an ugly, untruthful thought process.
As I sat with this for a little bit, it allowed me to see what God was trying to teach me. This verse popped into my head: ‘Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind’” (Romans 12:1) This truth that we are to be literally transformed from the inside out should give us nothing but FREEDOM to loose the chains of the pressure that too often stifles creativity.
What freedom!! Now creating doesn’t have to mean responding to previous art through opposition, but rather responding to the transformation that is daily happening inside of us and creating through that. With this perspective, anything we create is an honest outpouring of the transforming power of the death and resurrection of Jesus in our lives. Creating turns into the expression of this unfathomable freedom now that we know that we don’t have to answer to the world’s deadening definitions of “new” anymore. We have another aim, now. We have been given another definition, a transforming definition, a life giving and life altering definition.
What would it look like if we took the truth of the Gospel, allowed that to permeate and resonate into every fiber of our being, so much so that we could do nothing BUT create out of the truths of love, grace, peace, and mercy? I know that our God is an infinitely creative God… He created giraffes, ants, volcanoes, fingernails, sunsets, grains of sand, heartbeats and hydrogen. I’m pretty sure that if we trusted him through the creative process and allowed Him to speak, write, and create through us and stopped worrying about being the hippest and trendiest, that the expressions of Love would be beautiful and unique to each of us.
So may our creative process look much like Matthew 12:34, when Jesus said “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks”. And may that overflow of the heart no longer be spite or the opposition of previous creations, but the authentic remembrances and embraces of Love that flows from our Creator. May we stop striving to create out of fallacy, and instead live as dearly loved children of Abba. (Colossians 3:12)
Out of no fear and no matter what, may we walk and create how the Spirit is speaking to us, and may we trust that He is going to make it beautiful.