The Consumer, The Critic, and The Creative – joshbalogh

Written by on December 19, 2022

I love stuff. I mean, really…if you have any doubt, I can hesitantly admit that I used to have several of the drawers I have for clothing containing cds. Yes, cds. Don’t worry, I put them on binders and now they are in the part of the closet where my hang up clothes should be stored. Shhh. Lets not talk about the growing vinyl collection. I still have a baseball card collection somewhere, and a tackle box full of 3 inch G.I. Joes from my childhood only recently bit the dust by literally falling apart due to the age of the rubber bands inside them. I’m a collector, or at least I like to think of myself as one. Really though, I have come to realize that I’m a consumer. Food. Music. Movies. Books. Internet. On and on it goes. Well, lately I’ve taken to the “purging of stuff,” and it hasn’t been easy, but it’s been freeing. It’s a near constant war of de-cluttering, but it’s been worth it. I just feel like I can think better when less is surrounding me. Anybody else? The family has a goal to do a 33% day, where we giveaway or throwaway a third of our stuff. It’s a lofty goal, but I think we can do it.

Aside from consuming and collecting, the past six years have seen me adding critic to my list of pastimes, as I’ve had the privilege of writing reviews/blogs for online publication It really has been a next step in my personal journey to think deeply and critically, and even write about what I am consuming. It’s been a longtime goal and dream come true for this lifetime Christian music nerd to join a team that shares my passion for quality Christian music. So much fun! However, as much fun as it’s been something is needing to shift in my consuming, collecting, and music criticism…and it’s a good thing. It’s because I’m sensing a call to add my voice to the world as a creative in a different way. (🙌 and 😬)I have no plans to stop consuming, (though my pace needs to slow), or criticizing (can’t help it!), but I do now feel a stronger pull than ever to add my voice to that of the creative writing community. I once started writing a novel (???) years ago that I inadvertently deleted, and I must overcome that false start, and begin again. It’s all still there in my head, and will probably be better this time anyway. In the past two years fear has stopped me, and I’ve let the familiar hold me back…but no longer!

What about you? Is there a creative impulse that you really want to itch but you’re afraid? Or perhaps you tried, and it didn’t work the first time? Let me encourage you to try again! Make the motive none other than an act of worship to the ultimate Creator who made you with that desire to share in His creativity! Maybe it’s not something anyone else ever gets to see, but make it anyway! Don’t speak the lie, or believe the lie that you aren’t creative…I truly believe there is something in everyone that can be expressed creatively. Draw. Write. Bake. Start a business that addresses a need. Organize. Problem solve. Make a movie. Paint. Cut grass in interesting patterns. Repurpose junk into art. There is something you can do, and I want you to know I’m rooting for you! Start with things you love, and find a way to share that love with others. Or perhaps find away to combine things you love in a way no one has yet. Let’s all be aware of our passive consumption, and work toward intentional creativity. Instead of criticizing the slop on tv these days, write the next classic. We can do this!

I am fearfully, and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and so are you. Now let’s go create something wonderful for the glory of our Creator!

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