I see you circle up when that Proclaimers song starts to play. You laugh, stomp, and dance for five hundred miles, then five hundred more. There is a childlike cluelessness in your arm-waving lunacy, as if you don’t even realize you’re being watched. You do, of course, but it doesn’t matter. You really don’t care. If dignity was a man, and if he stood in the doorway gasping at your impropriety, no less than three of you would pull at his wrist so he would join the circle.
And amid your lip synced harmonies and air guitar solos, I see it: The desire to Burn like this even when the music stops. To take audacious risks. To live shamelessly. To create fearlessly, as if no hipsters could mock you from corner booths.
What you need to know is this: You already have permission.
You have permission to do what Beuchner says: to meet the world’s deep hunger with your deep gladness. It was for this reason that you were given gladness in the first place. Maybe someone told you that it was selfish to revel in it. That it was more spiritual to sacrifice passion in favor of safe service.
They were wrong. A real sacrifice is never for it’s own sake. There will be lots of “dying to self,” friends, but God delights in His family more than in burnt offerings. He created creators so they would create. He gave you talents to invest.
So don’t bury them. Let your ideas breath on their own. Wield your daydreams like swords, your wit like scalpels. Paint prophecies, sunsets, and hospitals. Sing ballads of love, and healing. Speak beauty in your tales of kings, elves and dwarves.
But beware the trolls, whose cynicism is cyanide.
They criticize, but they do not create. Your energy is too precious to waste on them. Your pearls are too costly to throw at swine.
Look to the skies instead, and find where the Light is shining. Be about your Father’s business. Write your memoir at His breakfast table. You might not see the art in every scene. Not right away. But over time, tragedies will become opportunities. Mud will turn to gold. Dirges will become dances.
And when they do, you will link arms with others who Burn, and together, you will dance a thousand miles, then a thousand more.