Bot9 - Creating Beauty


Playoff baseball is the highest form of creativity. I’ve had to pause in amazement watching the Astros, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Brewers play this postseason. I’m trying to put my finger on this idea of the creativity I’m observing. It’s like I’m staring in observation of the extraordinary as I watch baseball on the television in the same way I’ve stood motionless in front of a Van Gogh or an inspired work of art in a gallery.

The creative elements of the game are on full display in the movements of the players on the field and in the application of data and analytics. People are using their God-given physical gifts to play the game, and people are using their God-given intellect to put the right players in the right position on the field. What an incredible act of worship the game of baseball is!

A couple of months ago, I wrote about how knowledge can lead to arrogance. What I’m coming to understand is that creativity can lead us to health.

Writer James Clear had this to say in his article titled, “Make More Art: The Health Benefits of Creativity”:

“The moral of this story is that the process of making art — whether that be writing, painting, singing, dancing, or anything in between — is good for you.

There are both physical and mental benefits from creating art, expressing yourself in a tangible way, and sharing something with the world. I'm trying to do more of it each week, and I'd encourage you to do the same.

In our always–on, always–connected world of television, social media, and on–demand everything, it can be stupidly easy to spend your entire day consuming information and simply responding to all of the inputs that bombard your life.

Art offers an outlet and a release from all of that. Take a minute to ignore all of the incoming signals and create an outgoing one instead. Produce something. Express yourself in some way. As long as you contribute rather than consume, anything you do can be a work of art.

Open a blank document and start typing. Put pen to paper and sketch a drawing. Grab your camera and take a picture. Turn up the music and dance. Start a conversation and make it a good one.”

The heading of James 2:14-22 in the ESV Bible says, “Faith without works is dead.” I wonder if part of the subtext of the word “works” there for James could have something to do with creative inspiration. Even in writing this my conscience is screaming at me, “Is this idea heretical?” I often wonder if we hold back some of our creativity because of that kind of fear.

Paul and the other writers of the epistles wrote letters as their creative outlet to exhort and encourage new believers in the faith. In 1 Peter 1:13-2:10, Peter connects Old Testament ideas to the current situation of the new believers. He specifically draws them into this idea of a “cornerstone” in Christ. What a beautiful image that has now lasted over 2,000 years!

Should we do the same with our faith? Instead of only reading or studying the Word this week, what if you created something with what you’ve learned? Write, discuss, apply, paint, sculpt…do something with your faith this week. Exercise those muscles and see what occurs. For me, that’s what Bottom of the Ninth and the other pieces we create through Complete Game are - a creative exercising of our spiritual walk. I hope it serves to inspire others to create with their faith as well!