As a writer, sometimes I wonder what the “profit” of my work is. While I write spiritual books that help people, I also like to write fiction that, well, just tells a story. I’m working on a novel now. And from time to time, I wonder if working on a simple novel is worth anything to anybody. But then I remind myself of four important truths:
1. God does not run a company in which He is looking to make a profit. His creation is more like family than business. In a family, everything isn’t “profit” driven. What’s important in family is togetherness, empathy, understanding and solidarity.
2. The creative process is something God went through and goes through in the creation of our exposition, the very planet we live on. If He had created a factory within which we were designed to “get work done” there would be no beauty in a sunset (it would distract the workers) or romantic inclinations toward our partners. God extravagantly made the world for our pleasure, and it gave Him pleasure to make it.
3. When you create a piece of art, you are experientially understanding God. You are practicing solidarity with Him, in a way, feeling as He feels as He creates (He is still creating now, preparing another place for us) and that helps us understand God all the better, which helps us love Him all the more.
4. In creating works of art, you are exercising your own freedom of expression, a freedom many people do not experience because they are bound by religious customs and unwritten codes and rules. I frequently ask people who is more free to be themselves, the writer Steven King or the theologian (I won’t say his name, but it’s a fundamentalist theologian who frequently speaks out about what idiots other people are for not seeing the world his way) and you know what? I’ve never had a single person answer that the theologian was more free. Every person I have ever asked the question to felt like Steven King, who writes dark horror stories, was more free than the Christian theologian. That means if there’s a world out there looking for freedom, they aren’t seeing it in Christians. A free expression of art can change that.
Art matters, so keep creating, even as God is creating, for your pleasure and for His.