Steven Furtick - On The Edge of Something Special
One of the things that I'm always trying to learn though when I'm doing coaching is with creativity specifically. How do we keep the flow going when we have moments that we're not really overthinking things and we want to stay in that moment? And I know you've had this moment before, even if you're like, I'm not a creative person. I don't write poetry or screenplays, or I don't have canvases lying around in my studio. I don't have a studio, but you do, you have a studio, you're the studio. The inside of you is the studio where God, who is the master artist, creator, is making a masterpiece out of every day.
So even how you approach your day can either be creative or robotic, reactive. I believe that, and I believe that sometimes when we label something as either good, bad, many cases right, wrong, cool, corny, we miss that thin edge where something can become special. I was in a songwriting session recently, and it was a complete joke until a moment when I said, "Hey, slow it down". And we were doing something real fast, almost like a jingle, like a joke, like a parody song. Not weird "oh, parody that's clever", just being stupid. And I said, "Slow down. Slow down". Then all of a sudden it went from stupid & silly to something that was real serious and heavy. And by the end of the two days of writing, that was the favorite song that we had created of a couple of the writers.
So I wish I could tell you... "And that song was Reckless Love." Well, we didn't write Reckless Love, and that song wasn't Reckless Love. It may not be a big song, but we definitely felt it was good. And it started with something that was really silly, right? And then at some moment we decided to slow it down, and I turned to one of my collaborators, I said, "If we slow it down, this will turn into something. If we slow it down, this will turn into something". And I didn't mean slow it down and start talking and overthinking. That's usually a bad way to create a creative flow, to slow down and just to overthink and start taking things apart. Better to stay in the moment. What I meant by slow it down was just slow down the tempo like, let's just bring it down and boom, settle into it, and all of a sudden something unlocked.
So I wonder how many times in our life we have been on the verge of something special, but we told ourselves a story that it was silly. "This is stupid, this doesn't matter." I wonder how many times we've been in the middle of saying something to someone and we interrupted ourself with judgment. Here comes the psychological component, okay? I can do it from the Bible too, "Judge nothing before the appointed time". I could do it from the Bible too. I could do it from the Bible too. I could do it from the Bible, from Jesus. When the woman was brought to him and they were rushing to judge her and he slowed the whole thing down, and said, "Hold on". He did something special and they were about to do something stupid.
I could preach it from the Bible, but I just want to come at it creatively, psychologically, and tell you that sometimes you're on the verge of something special. A moment with your child, but it feels awkward. A moment with your wife, but it feels awkward. And you judge it and you go, "oh, this is awkward. Oh, they might think I'm cheesy. Oh, I'm probably coming across like a know-it-all. Ah, this doesn't make any sense. Da, da, da." So you stop.
I want to encourage you for moments today where you push just past that point of awkward. Hey, if something's awkward because you're being obnoxious, stop. If something's awkward because you're making somebody uncomfortable, stop. If something's awkward because you don't know how to break eye contact, stop. Or if something's silly and it needs to be serious, don't make a joke out of everything. But when you're on the verge of something and it feels like, "Hey, I'm in this", be careful of that pull that pulls you out of those special moments where you're tempted to judge it. When you judge it, you disrupt it. And when you disrupt it, you kill it. You kill creativity when you categorize.
I had a friend early in our church, give me a piece of advice. I used to label myself as "not creative". What I meant by that is pretty much I can't draw. Somewhere in my mind, I got the thought that creative people could draw probably in like six year old Steven's head because it was called art class and we drew. And I don't like to draw, and I'm not good at drawing, not technically, classically. Sure somebody likes it, thanks for the support out there for all of you who are very non-judgmental. But yeah, I got this bad habit of saying, I'm not creative. I'm not creative. I'm not an artist. I'm not creative. I'm not an artist. I'm not creative. And one of the guys we were starting the church with, I turned to one day and I said, "I'm not creative. I'm not creative".
And a few minutes later I shared an idea I had, and this is going to sound corny, but I wanted to do a little teaching in the church where I was talking about momentum and I wanted to use the different... I wish I could hold up my computer because I wanted to use the different keys on the computer shift, return control, option, and do the teaching around those different buttons. And I was saying it to him almost like, "I know this is dumb, but..". You know how we do it. Like, "oh no, this is stupid but..." Rolling my eyes at myself before I even got out my mouth, basically pre-jection. Telling him why he wouldn't like the idea I was about to present before I even had the chance to present it, saying his no for him. So he couldn't reject me, and I told him my idea. He's like, "That's awesome. I love that". Now, he was a designer, he did specialize in visual stuff. He looks back at me and goes, "I love that". He goes, "Hey, and don't ever say I'm not creative again".
Now remember, I'm the pastor, I'm the leader, I'm the boss in some ways, although he wasn't getting paid, but I was the boss and he's telling me what to do. So first it hit me. Don't tell me what to say, but then I'm like, "Oh, thanks". I kept that with me. I kept that with me. He planted a seed in me like God told Jeremiah, "Do not say I'm only a youth". He said, "Don't say I'm not creative. You should never say that again. You're very creative". And I hear my wife say that time to time, "I'm not creative like you". "Yes, you are. Did you see the way that you just made our whole family feel with that birthday party that you did? Did you see the way you just made Valentine's Day feel special? You put out these little mailboxes and made us write all notes to each other, and the boys acted like they didn't want to do it, but they'll never forget it. You made something really special here".
I don't like the term you made a memory because people make their own memory out of events. We don't get to make someone else's memory, but you created space for memories to be made, and you're very creative. So don't say I'm not creative. It's just what are you creating. And how do you, psychology term, constrict your creativity by rushing to judge it while it's still in process. I want you to think about that today. I'm going to carry that with me today as I move into this songwriting appointment, is to not judge something before it has the chance to be special. Give it space to be special. Do that by dismissing the critic.
One of my friends calls that the security guard who won't let something through because, oh, this is so stupid. But I think you'd be surprised how many times something is on the edge of special if you don't interrupt it with a judgment. All right? If you just let it unfold, try it out today. Sit in the awkward moments a little longer. Sit with the awkward moments with yourself a little longer, press through conversationally, breathe. See what's there on the other side of what feels silly, it might be something special. That's the title. It might be something special.