Recently, I spent time with a young man who had been promoted to a primary leadership role within his technology company. His 30th birthday is still a few years off. This is a heady position for a young man to assume. In our conversation he asked how to create a healthy work environment for his employees. I told him that all businesses and organizations do their best work when they periodically revisit their roots and recall why they began the journey in the first place. I told the young man it is a passion for their product that starts all successful businesses. It will be the rediscovery of that original passion that will help them push through the stale and challenging seasons they will encounter as they move forward into the future. I have found this to be true in our personal lives and ministries as well.
As an example, I told him that some of the greatest entrepreneurs and musicians that got their start in a garage. The garage is where they were free to experiment and not be hampered by the number crunchers or by the fear of failure. I offered Steve Jobs and Eric Clapton as two examples. They both started out in a garage. Jobs started Apple computers from the humble beginnings of his father’s garage. Eric Clapton, who played with the Yardbirds and Cream, also started out in a garage and he went on to be the only person to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times. Clapton is considered to be one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
Our original source of passion must be revisited and rediscovered from time to time in order to ensure that our future creativity is not stifled. Creativity flows from passion. People who are creative over the long term, like Jobs and Clapton, never forgot the original passionate environment that sparked their calling in the first place. They never lost the memory of their creative garage environment.
At some point, when we lose our way in a business, a ministry or a marriage, we need to find a way to return to our beginning and rediscover what birthed our original passion and then deal with the reasons why we tried to live life without it. Jesus told the church in Ephesus, “You have forsaken the love you had at first”. (Revelation 2:4) In the next verse He tells the Ephesians, “Repent, and do the things you did at first”. Even the great and historic Ephesian church needed to be reminded of this principle.
Going forward into new seasons of life and creativity will require that we go back and rediscover the passion we felt in the beginning. We do this so we can recapture the power of that original creative momentum and move forward with it into the future where new sounds, new products and new callings are waiting to be discovered.