Artists, Are You Audacious, Brave and Creative?


When you look back at the end of your life some day, will you be able to say that you were an audacious, brave and creative artist? If you want to cultivate a beautiful life, don’t be lulled by the anti-artistic Siren songs of safety and a risk-free life. When I look back at the end of my life, I want to see audacious, brave and creative risks taken so when I breath my last breath, I know I’ll be waking up in beautiful kingdom knowing I lived well in this one. Throw in courage, kindness, loving, humble and generous… those are a few more adjectives I want to describe my life.

My family and I recently went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Not only did we laugh and love the movie, I was inspired by Ben Stiller’s character breaking out of safety, security, and mediocrity by becoming the man he dreamed of being: Audacious, Brave and Creative!

A number of years ago, there was another man who lived a pretty audacious life.

His name was Teddy Roosevelt and he wrote a very Mitty-ish short essay entitled, In the Arena. Roosevelt’s words have much in common with our modern-day Mitty story. I hope Teddy and Mitty prod you into becoming the audacious, brave and creative person you’re made to be.

Roosevelt writes,

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timed souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Questions: Where in your art, life, creativity, relationships or faith do you need to be more audacious, brave or creative? What holds you back? What is appealing or inspiring about Roosevelt’s words?

I’d love your comments and feedback.

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  • Allison Regnier

    Supposedly Miley Cyrus, has part of that Roosevelt quote as one of her tattoos. It seems she is an artist is having a hard time finding her way and is not being “coached” by people who have more than debased monetary interests. (That’s my way of saying I think they are just using her — and I really think they always have just used her even when she was much younger).

    But I still find it interesting that she has part of that quote on her skin. I am one, who in my own way has tried let God use my creativity as the non-verbal language that it often is to touche those He wants to with the message their eyes can see. I have done this boldly in the spiritually dark land of France. I have no regrets for trying, while in the trying each of us stumbles along at times. It is clear to me that the only light that I may have been able to shine has been the Light of Christ within me — and sometimes I don’t shine as bright as He would allow me to because of my sin. Fortunately when I fail, He let’s me try again when I have dealt honestly with Him with my failures.

    • Joey O’Connor

      Thank you Allison for your insights and honesty…you are infinitely loved by God not because of your failures, but because you are His daughter.

      I read a great quote by Tolkien the other day that said, “All who wander are not lost.” Even wandering souls like Miley are not too far from the grace of God. It is unfortunate to see how they get devoured by the people who use their incredible talents for their own selfish gains.

      May we all stumble forward in the light of God. Blessings to you!

  • Richard

    I really like your theme. What the quote from Roosevelt reminds me of is some thinking that I have seen hinder the body of Christ, at least in my lifetime. It is easy to feel concern for someone, pat them on the back and say, “I will pray for you.” The saying may be sincere and you might even go your way and pray. What is really audacious and takes real faith is to step out and act immediately. Jesus said, “these signs shall follow those who believe. In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak in new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” It is obvious from the text, that some of the things, like taking up serpents or drinking deadly things is more of happenstance and not to be intentional to test the Lord. But the other things, are obviously “on the other hand.”
    When would you take the risk to cast out a devil? When the opportunity presents itself and someone is possessed of one. When would you lay hands on the sick? When the opportunity presents itself. You will find a large portion of believers afraid or embarrased to have the audacity to actually believe or have faith to believe that God would heal the sick when they lay hands on people. The truth is God never expects you to produce results, only to take the risk. He is the truth and if he said these signs will follow them that believe it means the same thing as all other truth. Believers believe because God said it. You believe you are going to heaven? Why? Then you should believe that when you lay hands on the sick they will recover and when you don’t get the results, you should have a big question mark as to why they didn’t recover. He said it and he will produce the results. It took faith for Peter to walk out of that boat. You will never know if Jesus will heal that person unless you step out and take a risk. Tennyson said this: “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Risk to step out of your comfort zone and believe and pray for someone, perhaps that you don’t even know, looks like love. There is no time to wait for some faith healer or to take the person to your church or the elders or any other excuse. When it came time to feed the multitudes, the practical said send them away so they can get food. Jesus said, “You feed them.” Jesus never waited, he acted. Faith often merely looks like risk. Naysayers never see the miraculous but I see miraculous, physical healing almost everyday, because I am around people who take the risk. I take the risk. The world doesn’t need any more sermons…they need believers that have the audacity to take risks. This gospel needs a demonstration of power…each believer has that power, but will they take the risk?

    • Joey O’Connor

      Great thoughts here Richard…thank you! We had a good friend of ours in our couples bible study experience an amazing healing in her neck when we all went to a healing service with her. As a result and her testimony, she had many friends say, “I need prayer like that…can I come to your next gathering?!”

      So she invited a bunch of these people over last night and many were prayed over for very serious health issues. Speaking for myself, I need to slow down, not be so busy and miss the opportunities to stop and pray with people NOW when the opportunity presents itself.

      Love what you’ve written about risk…we do have a God who invades the impossibles in our lives.

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