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06 November 2007 

The Spark that Starts the Fire

Every so often I start to feeling like I should have been a journalist. I have no idea where this comes from, as I'm not particularly investigative or a gifted writer or especially curious, it's just that I see a great deal of value in that field, and secretly I wish that I had the talents to pull it off.

I don't think I would have found journalism so intriguing in the past, even ten years or so ago, the mediums by which journalism came across to it's audience were very stolid and intimidating to anyone not in the biz. It's most likely that when I am feeling journalistic it's because I've been recently participating in social journalism or journalistic communities. Things like social news networks, blogs and podcasting have made journalism something of an everyday hobby for many now, even if their "readership" is limited to their mothers and 3 whackjobs with the same point of view.

In particular, podcasting intrigues me a great deal. I would really like to start a podcast, the problem of course, is picking a subject and finding like minded people to join me in producing it. I suppose I can think of a great number of topics to debate over and a great deal of information that I could be discussing and broadcasting over the interwebs, but the problem is I don't know that any of it is particularly interesting or that I have a particularly unique point of view that would intrigue people to actually listen.

The two topics that come first to mind when I consider this idea are tech/gaming and theology. The guys over at Penny-Arcade have done the tech/gaming thing so well, they turned a hobby of blogging, podcasting and comic drawing into one of the most popular websites for commentary on the video game industry on the web. I would love to be able to turn my own hobbies and passions into such a productive vehicle for the exchange of ideas.

There is a need in each of us I think to express creativity in some special way like that. I have never really considered myself a creative person, a creative wannabe perhaps, I tend to gravitate to the company of writers, artists and musicians, because I so enjoy that process. Creation is a divine activity. It's one the foremost characteristics of God, and being made in his image, we all have the spark of creative desire in some form or another.

Sometimes when I think on this I am amazed at the seeming lack of creativity in Christian "culture." I use the quotes there because I don't feel like there should be a Christian "culture," but since there is, I think it needs to be set apart somehow. The primary reason I don't listen to Christ centered music or read Christ centered literature is that it is so incredibly unoriginal most of the time. Occasionally I run across those rare groups who are truly creative, and I love those moments of discovery, but most of the time I am just saddened by the lack of anything new in these mediums.

There is something sacred about new experiences. Think on it, we measure life by firsts, first steps, first words, first love, first kiss, the birth of a child, the first time you saw your favorite movie, read your favorite book, or heard your favorite song. There is the magic of originality in those moments, and once untapped, cannot be gotten back. It is so sad and a shame that our society seems so in the practice of recycling everything into a state of gray mush. Sequels and the same old TV shows. The same 3 chords in every praise chorus.

Where does my journalistic desire come in? I'm not sure. I certainly enjoy exploring my hobbies to the fullest extent possible. To enjoy something for me is to really know it, I just don't know how to casually dip into hobbies. And to share that joy and knowledge for me is in many ways a fulfillment of purpose. I want to take these things that I'm passionate about and know them thoroughly and then share that with others. Is that creative? I suppose it can be.

I think for me, this creative calling will exist in contextualizing my passions to make them more accessible for others, be this technology and games, or, as I feel is truly my calling, the Word of God and his gospel and glory, there is an impulse within me to do these things that comes only from the original creator. So praise God with your creativity, enjoy the new things in life, and shout for beauty when you find it.

Thanks for this post. (I'm too tired to add anything more specific than "I want to be creative too".)

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