The title of this blog may seem off the wall and irrelevant in light of this Covid-19 pandemic, but I believe that as a creative, I may have light to shed on this crisis: 1) Why it’s happening? and 2) Where is God in it?
Creatives Hear Differently Than Other People
In my book, The Ancient Path to Creativity and Innovation, I write about a group of people who possess a special, God-given gift: an ability to “hear” with spiritual ears. I call us creatives – and if you are one, you know all too well that we are different from other people and often ridiculed. The reality is, however, creatives are genetically wired to “hear” things others do not hear.
In Chapter 4, “The 10 Distinguishing Marks of Creatives,” I include three distinguishing marks that are particularly relevant to this blog: 1) Creatives hear and sense things others do not; 2) Creatives have a strong intuitive navigational system; and 3) Creatives are future thinkers with ideas ahead of their time.
After walking out life as a creative for over 40 years, I have observed that I typically hear something 8-10 years ahead of whatever God plans to do. I know this sounds weird, but hear me out.
Jesus used a phrase over and over whenever he told a parable (an allegorical story), “He who has ears, let him hear.” (Mark 4:9, emphasis mine) He wasn’t talking about physical ears…rather, He referred to spiritual ears. His admonition was not a request. It was a command. When something is going on, He is basically telling His followers to actively spread their ears out to receive a deeper spiritual message God is saying to those who are wired to hear in this way.
[NOTE: This next section was written in 2017 as part of my book. It is especially insightful today, a little over ten years after the initial “hearing” took place.]
Hearing the Voice of God
I have only heard God’s audible voice twice in fifty years of walking with Him. Both occasions shook me and shifted my career direction in significant ways.
In August of 2009, I had just returned from a spiritual conference in Ohio. That night, I was awakened by a loud voice. I knew it was the Lord. He said only two words:
I immediately got out of bed and went to spend time with Him, seeking to understand what these words might mean.
Revelation did not happen right away. In truth, it took a long time to understand. Remember, Scripture teaches us that God rewards the effort of one’s search (Proverbs 2:3).
In all my years of seeking to learn His ways, I find that He always gives me just a little bit to see if I will press in for more. When I do, that more is always provided.
I pressed in and here’s what I learned:
- “Value engineering” (VE) is a business term I learned in the MBA program. VE is defined as a systematic method to improve the value of goods or products and services by examining function. It involves a mathematical ratio of function to cost. That’s a whole left-brain way of describing what companies go through when they engineer the company’s processes according to what the owners value. Since most companies value stockholders, the term “value engineering” came to be associated with cutting costs to increase the bottom line. Simply put, VE is good for business!
- “Reengineering” is yet another common business term defined as the process of redesigning or restructuring either a company or part of its operations when it is not working.
- “Value reengineering” is, therefore, a brilliant way God was saying something unique. Because mankind has messed up so many things, the Creator of the universe is at work reengineering everything according to what He values!
By hearing this revelation of what He is doing, I took His words as an invitation—to become part of this new business and cultural reformation movement. Everything in my personal and business life began to shift after 2009 to align myself with what I heard.
Reengineering is not pretty. It involves tearing down, uprooting, wiping out, dynamiting, breaking up whatever is deemed “no longer fit for service,” those things that have strayed from His intended purposes. This “demolition derby” is often sudden and disruptive, causing great unrest among toppled leaders fighting to climb their way back to the top and continue to do things the old way.
“For everything there is a season . . . a time to break down, and a time to build up” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-3)
The Important Question
To reform anything, there has to be a tearing down first. A shaking. Followed by a desperate search to find “safe ground.”
During any societal shaking, first we have to hold on until things settle. Then, and only then, will we be able to hear the question that surfaces in the aftermath: Who or what is my trusted place of refuge?
Look for the invisible hand reaching out in your direction…
I’ve been a cultural reformer through the arts since 1970 - as a writer, composer, producer, publisher, business consultant, marketplace minister and arts leader. At this stage in life, I want to share with others the keys that shifted me from a “career” to a “calling”.