This month’s article was written by Jason Watson. Jason has written and produced many songs and arrangements over the years. Jason’s latest project “A dream of Christmas Past” can be purchased through Amazon and iTunes.
About five years ago I was really struggling with my desire to express myself through music. I’d loved music from childhood and that love continued through college where I majored in music. After that, the path became less clear. I attempted many times over to make a career out of what I loved with little to no success. Eventually, when my attempt to turn music into a recording business failed, I gave it up. Gradually, I was less and less involved in it for fear it would bring more financial struggles or temptation to shirk responsibilities. However, one night I was laying outside looking up at the stars and thinking about the path my life had taken. Was I really fulfilling my purpose through the job that I had separate from the music about which I had once been so passionate? Was there ever a purpose in the music that I loved to begin with? What was the practical purpose of music at all? Then Yahweh showed me something interesting. He caused me to notice the stars in the sky and the trees around me that framed it. He caused me to ponder why He had ever created it to begin with. Was it because it served a practical purpose? What practical use was a physical universe to a God who was a spirit and needed nothing? Was He trying to impress someone with His majesty or bring people to worship Him because of His great feats of grandeur? He doesn’t need the approval of man nor does He require our approving opinion or our heartfelt appreciation of His beauty to bring Him fulfillment. Why then, create it at all? It finally dawned on me that He just wanted to. It brings Him pleasure somehow. He doesn’t even share it with us because He needs us to applaud Him for it. Again, it just gives Him pleasure to share in it with us. It’s the same desire that is in the smallest child who, when trying something for the first time, turns and wants someone else to try it too because it is then a shared experience and that, in some way, makes it more enjoyable. Of course Yahweh is worthy of worship. Not because He needs it but because it helps us relate to Him rightly. Still, He chooses to share his creation because it pleases Him to do so.
Then He showed me something deeper still. He didn’t just give us His creation. He gave us His creativity. In fact, out of His entire created universe, we are the only creation that creates simply because it chooses to. Sure, you can find animals that create artistic displays for the purpose of mating or who create structures that serve function. But humans create constantly out of an inner desire to express. Sometimes, because of various traumas or disorders in life, that creativity is warped into other things. For some, it is something used to gain the admiration of others. Through trial and error, they learn to produce art that produces a response in other people. Some see art as a form of communication. They craft it for the purpose of communicating a thought, a feeling or idea. But, perhaps, art is something even deeper than that. It is an expression of the innermost heart and spirit of a person. When it is produced without the pretense of fulfilling an expectation or the need to generate a response in the listener, it is a pure expression. But it is made profoundly valuable not because it serves some function of communicating or teaching or enticing but because we are the only facet of creation that presents that one unique quality of Yahweh, creativity. For me that creativity is expressed through music and Yahweh showed me that I should value that if for no other reason than He put it in me to do so.
I noticed something unique recently pertaining to music. Beauty is all around us in the physical creation we see. Whereas the beauty of music is rare, though sounds are ever present. This is, in part, because beauty in music is a result of harmony both in pitch and rhythm. The potential for harmony is inherent in sound. In fact, that’s what makes it harmony. A note is played or sung and immediately there are resonating overtones and undertones searching to find a voice in surrounding objects. When another note is sounded that is sympathetic or in agreement with one of those overtones or undertones, it creates a harmony. It’s not a coincidence that we, as humans, love the sound of harmony and are drawn to it. There is power in harmony and unisons. Two voices in harmony or unison will produce a more powerful and louder sound than two voices in dissonance. They will create even more and stronger overtones and undertones. The sound will penetrate barriers and cover greater distances.
Few if any creatures harmonize on purpose. Even animals, such as birds, that produce melodies rarely harmonize. The most they can do is produce consistent pitches and tones that imply a kind of harmony. Humans are also unique in both their ability and desire to hear and produce harmony. We’ll even go to great lengths to reshape our environment to produce the desired harmonies.
Herein lies the reason why music has become such a valuable part of who I am as a person and to my purpose. I see music as a facet of my life that perfectly demonstrates the function that other areas of my life are to have as well. That is to take many different and unique pieces of this part of the universe of which I’ve been made steward and bring them into a harmony with one another. All the while adding my own unique voice and color to the mixture. Just as a composer takes a melody and arranges it with his own style and influences, I am to bring all the seemingly different or contrasting aspects of my life and cause them to compliment and cooperatively benefit one-another in a great creative expression. The nature of music is at the heart of who I am as a person.
What has Yahweh put in you? What form does your creativity take? Don’t think of creativity as the sole realm of “prophetic” people or the territory of a special few. We all are the created and the creative. Let us embrace the expression of creativity in ourselves for it is a demonstration of the nature of Yahweh and, perhaps, one of the greatest and most profound purposes of man.