22nd March – Anthony Ellis

The one who dares can win 

I have been turning up at striking contests over the years and listening to the bands ringing their competition pieces. It is surprising how the ringing speeds vary. Some bands ring slowly and accurately but it often seems a bit plodding. Other bands ring faster and take more risks with their accuracy. Sometimes it comes off and can be an exciting bit of ringing. I wonder whether judges should take into account artistic merit in deciding which band should win the contest.

I reflect on the whole idea of creativity. I realise that for human beings there is a satisfaction in creating something. But that it is not surprising for those who believe that we are made in the image of God, who is a creator God. To create something special we need to be brave and to push the limits to create the outstanding product.

We can play safe and take the safe creative route. We may make something that is good but is not exciting or innovative in any way. Great works of art should be innovative and exciting, but that means taking risks which can be disastrous because of just overstepping the boundaries of possibility. Taking it to the edge and just staying narrowly within the limits can lead to something that is truly extraordinary and innovative.

I have come to see God’s creation in this light. God has no need to create, yet has brought about creation with humanity as its pinnacle, and that has been the great risk that God has taken. St Paul in one passage talks about the folly of God. This act of folly could be seen as the creation of humanity and his actions in attempting to redeem it in the person of Jesus. God has taken a huge risk to create something wonderful and extraordinary, us. We in turn need to be bold and take risks to make the most of the gifts we have been given. The one who dares can win!

Anthony Ellis