A few years back I took an official sabbatical from church. It represented a step away from serving full-time as a pastor and a step toward writing as the focus of my ministry.
How much money would I earn for taking this leap of faith? At first, nothing. Zero. Later? Perhaps double or triple nothing!
In the months that followed my announcement to leave the parish, kind church folks asked what Iâ€™d do with my time. My standard reply was, â€œNothing.â€
How flippant. How true.
Every form of creative expression begins with nothing. There is no outward music until the inward sounds nudge (or elbow) the composer. A dance floor remains empty, filled with space to be defined by an initial spin or jump. A preacher turns from studying the comforting (or troubling) pages of the Bible to a sermon hoped for (or dreaded), but either way, itâ€™s not yet there. A novelist, about to plunge into the marathon of writing and rewriting 100,000 words, contemplates a blank yellow legal pad or a lonely cursor blinking on a monitor as vast as the Pacific.
The Biblical story opens with a zero. Chaos. A void. A waiting. Awaiting. Every form of creative expression begins with nothing and then . . .