Somewhere along the academic timeline our attention was shifted from the creator of art, music, poetry, and great literature and what they were trying to share with the world, to our own inner dialogue. We no longer wanted or needed to be understanding but now we demanded to be understood. It was not important to learn about others and their unique perspectives but it was decided that the only opinion that mattered was our own.
Classroom discussions began shifting from what was said to what is it that we heard. Paintings and sculptures no longer had the power to take us on a journey of meaningful exploration of the world beyond us, other cultures and views of life. We now are told that the only journey we need take is to discover our self, our ideas, our definitions, and our inner pictures of perfection.
All of this comes at a price. When we are the center of all things and are the sole determinate of what is or is not beautiful or true we no longer are able to be informed or to grow beyond our self imposed limitations. When there is no voice to challenge us and no beauty beyond our own meager imaginations then life and hope begin to freeze into a fixed place of stagnation.
This approach to understanding art and creativity has created an impoverished world which has stifled greatness. When your inner voice is so loud that you no longer hear the sounds of brilliance ringing through the ages, when you are unable to sit at the feet of deep thinkers and learn then you are diminished.
This is never more so critical than when we approach God’s Word. When the writings of our Heavenly Father are reduced to those ideas of our own creation then we are at a loss to grow. When we do not strive with all of our intellect to understand the author and his intentions then we may as well put the book down and simply write our own memoirs and meanderings. If we do not hunger for a perspective that supersedes our own, but rather are satisfied with using God’s Holy Wisdom as a tool to in some fashion proof text our own convictions then we have in fact supplanted the Father and have become the center of own universe.
How do you read the Bible? Do you read Holy Scripture as a way of merely reflecting your own thoughts and desires or are you desperately investing the time and effort to hear from an author and artist who is the master creator. Do you desire to know him better? Will you allow his perspective to become yours or will you bend, twist and shape his artistry and genius into your image? Are you the sculptor or the clay?