I woke up early this morning, well before my alarm, my mind spinning with words, phrases and insights I want to share with my friends who will be attending my first Being Brave retreat on Saturday. I am excited. I am nervous, with moments bordering on panic. I want it to be perfect, even as I remind our retreat attendees on Saturday that perfection is an unrealistic goal. I want those who will attend to feel their time was well spent. I want them to leave Saturday afternoon feeling inspired, refreshed, validated and heard. I want them to experience community and connection in our time together. And yet, as in all acts of creation, I know I have little to no control on how my offering will be received. I can only do the work, trust the process and offer my gift.
As I put the finishing touches on my retreat plans, I am reminded of the creative process I have both experienced and watched repeatedly in putting on a theater production. “Hell Week” is the name often given to the last week before the show goes up when the cast, crew and production team are completely immersed in getting ready for opening night. At some point, all the work, preparation, fine-tuning, and run-throughs reach a point where there is no place else to go without an audience. It is as ready as it can be and it is time. It makes me smile to know my favorite high school theater department is going through their own Hell Week right now. Having lived through many such weeks with my thespian daughters, I can picture the tension, excitement, exhaustion and nerves spinning through the homes and halls of their world this week. Tomorrow is their opening night and I will be there to cheer them on. As they run their last dress rehearsal tonight, they too will be at the place where they know they have done the work; all that is left is to trust the process and offer their gift.
I have written about creativity before. I am intrigued by this inclination we human beings have to create, the spark of creation we received from being made in the image of a Creative God. The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive. Continue reading