“It’s my experience that we’re much more afraid that there might be a God than we are that there might not be […] possibility is far more frightening than impossibility […]” (Julia Cameron)
Most people see faith and science as being mutually exclusive. They’re not. The more I think about it and the more I study, the more I see that science requires faith and vice versa in more ways than we really want to admit and maybe in more ways than we really see. And in a lot of ways this is absolutely terrifying. Why? Because science=fact. And faith being fact means that we are not as in control of our fate as we would like to be. It also means we have to get up off our asses and get something done, because there is actually more to life than just particles randomly floating in space. There is a design, a purpose, a reason. And, quite frankly, that is terrifying to a lot of people, myself included.
I can’t remember ever not believing in God—a creator. I may have questioned it, but to me it takes a lot more faith NOT to believe in God; however, being accountable to anything or anyone is downright terrifying (It’s why “I’m going to call your Mama/Daddy” can still strike fear in the heart of the even strongest teenagers…). Now consider idea of a Cosmic Critique—that’ll bring you down from narcissistic cloud nine and into the reality of having to deal with all your past—both good and bad.
But as Julia Cameron points out in The Artist’s Way, “We say we are scared of failure, but what frightens us more is the possibility of success.”
Why? Failure is what we expect—what we’ve been told to expect. What we think we deserve, and maybe what we’ve been told we deserve our entire lives. So it becomes our mantra. What it becomes is comfortable.
Success is unknown.
The fact of the matter is, failure is not what we are designed for despite what the world might hawk. We were actually created for perfection—for success. Genesis 1 details man’s purpose from the very beginning–“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them […] God saw all that he had made and it was very good […]”
God created us for success, but we began a pattern of self-sabotage early on. Now, we can debate the value of having introduced knowledge of good and evil into the society all day (and I have my senior English class do this—so fun), but this moment is when shame is first introduced into society. As a result, every day we battle recovering from shame and failure. But what if we understood that success is not to be feared, but embraced as our destiny? Shame is not—or at least should not be—the norm. Recovery is a long arduous process, but it is possible, and the outcome is beautiful.
“Ask and you shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened to you…” These words are among the more unpleasant ones ascribed to Jesus Christ. They suggest to possibility of scientific method: ask (experiment) and see what happens (record the results). Is it any wonder we discount answered prayers?”(Julia Cameron)
But it’s not passive, it’s active. And it is a choice. As artists—as humans we have to take that step to recovery. I love what Julia Cameron says in week three: “Action has magic, grace and power in it.” Grace. Jesus has grace too, the ultimate grace and recovery is multifaceted, rooted in a deep seated need for grace.
But you have to want it. Seek, and ye shall find…
Just be prepared for what’s on the other side of grace, whatever it may be.