Called to Create {Some Rambling and a Book Review}

Day 29 of my 100 day project has contained a hefty handful of self-doubt and why-am-I-even-doing this.

Because sometimes making stuff that lives on the internet feels fairly pointless, but also entertaining that kind of existential doubt isn’t really worth my while.

Because I can spend my time doubting whether or not I should spend my time making something that feels meaningful.

Or I can spend my time trying to create the thing I want to create in the best way I know how.

And learn more in the process.

And that is all.

Don’t give the critics words. (EPF – The Next Right Thing – page 187)

On to today’s order of business: book review!

(I received this book to review from Baker Books a long time ago. I know. But I am catching up on all these lovely books I have been given to read and review.)

This one is Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk by Jordan Raynor. I had some qualms going into this as it was very entrepreneur small-business focused at first and I don’t really feel like I fit in that space at this point in my life. But somewhere near the middle of the book it began to feel less dry and I started to relate a little more with the content. It was a very helpful read and more for me than I thought. This book made me look at the idea of entrepreneur, or even creativity as a business, in a new way.

Raynor starts with the why and the call of creativity and then moves through chapters about our hangups; the importance of motivations; fostering not just ethical, but Christ-like, business practices; considering money and profit; handling failure; and making disciples not so much overtly but through the way the business itself speaks of God. And a few other ideas. Those are just my highlights.

The chapter on profit felt fresh compared to other ideas about what should be done with money in Christian businesses. The chapter on failure was truly helpful. I appreciated the way Raynor thoughtfully considered the main question in each chapter without claiming that Christians should do entrepreneurship in any one way. He left room for the diverse ways God has gifted all of us to bring more of himself to the world.

All in all, a good and helpful read for anyone struggling to weigh their hopes of building a small business (or creating art) with their faith. Great food for thought and very affirming of creativity/ the entrepreneur mindset.

Favorite quotes:

  • “If we create to make a name for ourselves, we will never be satisfied. We will never feel as if our work is more than a job, a true calling on our lives. And, inevitably, we will devastate our lives and those of our loved ones. But if we, like Back, see our creating as a means of revealing God’s character and loving others, then we have proper ambition to write, work, and create like we are running out of time – because, in fact, we are!” p 81
  • “And because I know I have been called to create, I will write, work, and create like I am running out of time today, so that I don’t look back with regret wishing I had spent more time working to reveal God’s character and love others.” p 81
  • “The number of products we can create to reveal God’s character are as limitless as our ability to learn more about who he is.” p90
  • “In reality, the gospel is the only thing that will allow us to face struggles and failures with true peace.” p139

What is your favorite book on creativity?

I might make a summer tradition of rereading my favorite: A Million Little Ways! :)

Also: in case you missed it: in the top menu of this blog I now have a page where I share when my favorite books are on sale. Find it here: Paperback Deals – Under $10. I’m especially excited about the books on sale right now: Just Mercy, Shadowland, The Gifts of Imperfection, etc. :) :) But maybe I’m just always going to be excited about sharing these books. Go check the rest! :)

(Thanks to Baker Books for the review copy. All opinions are my own.
Post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Thanks for reading!)

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