“A creative artist works on his next composition because he was not satisfied with his previous one” – Shostakovich
I also take this to mean that a creative artist finishes his current composition in order to start a new one.
Finish your work. People often say that they have a lot of unfinished projects. I think that this is often the case because they are afraid that it will not live up to their high standards. Well, finishing the work is often the hardest part. In order to finish a great work, you must learn how to finish a great work.
Furthermore, finishing a work and seeing it in written form is one of the greatest ways to learn. When you see your work in front of you, you can also see the errors, as well as the great things. You are able to think new thoughts that you were not able to do so before it because you no longer have to have it memorized, you no longer have to develop memorized thoughts from memorized thoughts, but can develop new thoughts and ideas from those already written down.
I often find it helpful to think of the Christian life in terms of journey and Good work. And I also find that we best think of this journey or work as ongoing. In this way the destination of the Christian’s journey is journeying in friendship with God. God does not call us to something that is other to Godself, and God does not give us hard work prior to a reward in abstraction from this work. Certainly God promises rewards to the faithful, but these rewards are in fulfillment of the good towards which our faithful actions gesture. Martyrdom, for example, is a confessional embodiment of the Kingdom reality of “living together in love,” which is promised the reward of the loving communion of the resurrection.
This approach has the advantage of not separating God’s gifts to us from our reception of (and participation in) these gifts. Grace and discipleship are brought together rather than severed. Such an approach also holds the potential of dispossessing us of any pretentious to absolute truth. We may be called by God, but this calling does not mean that we know in advance where and how God’s truth may be found. In fact, it actively calls us to a certain openness towards unexpected discoveries of God’s grace. For if our goal is ongoing work, then perfection involves continued growth and learning, not “having it all together.” And finally, seeing the Christian journey as ongoing removes any separation between God’s being and God’s act. God both is love and gives love; resting in God’s love is not different than living a life of love. Continue reading The Christian’s Destination as Ongoing Work that is Good