Creating for the Glory.
Artists and creatives often view their work as an extension of their value—practicing their craft in hopes of one day winning the prestige and glory commensurate with their talent. When that expectation of glory goes unmet, it is helpful, as it can expose privately held attachments to external valuation and can be useful as a guide towards redirecting individual expectation towards achieving the innate glory yielded through the practice of purposeful creativity.
Universally, the notion of creativity has largely been understood and defined as a resource and power that ends and begins with the individual, despite the numerous reminders within nature that human existence and creativity are extensions of the Creator—“on loan” for a predetermined, finite period to be returned: ashes to ashes, dust to dust, spirit to spirit. Given that the body will inevitably return to the dust it was formed from, with the spirit on course to return to the Creator, the glory yielded from the practice of creative gifts endowed to the individual will be returned as well. It is curious then, under consideration, as to why any perceived or genuine glory, garnered from creative ability, is associated with individual greatness, when all creativity is an extension of the Creator’s ability. Any glory or fame yielded from creative gifts, great or small, short or long-lived, is auto-routed to the original source of creativity—whether individually acknowledged or not.
As stated within scripture, the Creator owns everything—including the ability to create, which has been shared with humanity. Per the Psalms:
“If I were hungry, I would not ask you for food,
For the world and everything in it is mine.
Let the giving of thanks be your sacrifice to God
And give the Almighty all that you promised.”
Jazz mentor and trumpet master, Roy Hargrove, regularly spoke about his practice of purposeful creativity and the glory of his gift in his remembrance of the source of his creativity. He shared his thoughts in a set of interviews with iRockJazz:
“I play from the heart, and it’s honest—it’s true, and it’s from God, you know; it’s not me. I’m a vessel. I just try to keep the vessel open, so that it can flow through, you know?
Everything that I do is from the Creator. All the music I play… I can’t take credit for it, ‘cause it’s just flowing through me. I just try to keep the vessel open, so that it can be, you know, honest. Really that’s all I can say about that. It’s spiritual, man. It ain’t nothing I can take credit for.
I’m not doing it for play; I’m doing it for real. I think that music is a very spiritual thing, something that’s coming from the Creator, you know. You have to keep those communication lines clear and open and real.
I’m trying to make my music have a very vocal quality and to sing with every aspect of every note that I’m playing, making sure every note is an important note, something that has a therapeutic quality to it. I think that music should be something that when people hear it, it takes away the pain and the anger and all the negative energies that are in this world, so I think that I’m sort of coming into a minister type thing with what I’m doing with my music as I get older.”
Purposeful creativity carries an innate glory of its own in its acknowledgement and magnification of the power and intellect of the Creator as its original source through the illumination, beautification, and unification of humanity.