Picasso. Angelou. Dickens. Mozart.
These are the names we all recognize as famous and near perfection in their genre of creativity. People like this are known for mastering their craft and maybe even doing things that have never been done before. We celebrate their achievements and aspire to be like them.
But what about your neighbor who’s been painting longer than you have? Or your friend that wrote a best-selling novel before the age of 30? How do you feel about the person on Instagram you’ve never met who has his poetry featured on so many websites you lost count? If we’re honest, it’s difficult in this competitive world of creativity to celebrate others without feeling like we don’t measure up ourselves.
The harsh but somewhat liberating truth is that you may not ever be as great as Picasso or Mozart. You might not ever even be recognized for your talent on a large scale. Does that frustrate you to the point of wanting to quit, or does it inspire you to keep going no matter what the visible outcome?
My daughter has been doing gymnastics since she was 3 years old. I remember when she became aware of other gymnasts in the gym. Around the age of 6, she was about to throw in the towel on gymnastics. Why? Because there were kids far more advanced than her, and she couldn’t picture herself being that talented.
However, we didn’t let her quit. Why? Because she absolutely loves gymnastics. She wasn’t focusing on her own accomplishments or desires. She temporarily shifted her focus to others, which made her feel insignificant in the sport.
Maybe this is something that inherently lives inside of us all. We want to be celebrated and we want to be the best. However, I assure you that all the “bests” put in the time and sweat that it takes to produce something great. That’s the point at which we tend to fail because we quit too quickly. We stop before we truly see what we’re capable of because Joe Shmoe was “better” than us by age 11.
Fast forward a couple of years and my almost 8-year-old is still thriving in gymnastics. Just this past season, her coach suggested that she move up another level. She’s getting better every week, and she’s practicing around my house every single day (which can be both inspiring and scary as legs fly around the lamps and toddlers).
Because we didn’t let her quit, she’s getting to see the benefits of her practice and hard work. She’s seeing the fruit of her labor, and she’s enjoying the sport that she loves so tenderly. Most of all, she brings glory to God with her creativity and endurance.
Maybe you feel your Father nudging you not to quit even when you don’t feel adequate. Though there may be a part of you that believes you’ll never master your craft, there’s a Spirit inside of you that won’t let you put down the paintbrush, the pen, or the dance shoes. Your Father knows the desires of your heart. He knows what He created you to do. He longs for you to keep going for His glory and for your enjoyment.
So the choice is ours. We can choose to be inspired by the greats, our friends, and the random social media experts, or we can choose to be frustrated and quit. For those of us who do this for our Creator, inspiration trumps frustration every time.
Featured Image by Mathew Schwartz
This post was written by Kassi Russell. As a former dancer, singer, and writer Kassi knows both the joy and heartache of finding a place in this world artistically. The Lord has given her a passion for dreaming big with others and practically helping creatives become the best possible version of themselves.
Kassi and her big family are now planted back in Greenville, SC where her story actually began. In her limited but sacred free time she enjoys exercise, nature, and visiting used bookstores or music shops to search for treasure. When the Father connected her to Kingdom Winds, her passions collided with the vision instantly. She now works with the team as a Digital Media Associate. To check out more of Kingdom Winds content, visit her member profile here.