Forget Perfection: How a Day at Gee Creek Falls Made Us Fall in Love with Creating Again

This past Monday, the family and I set out for a day filled with adventure. We kicked off with a delicious breakfast at Ruby’s Diner in Benton, TN. To our surprise, someone in the restaurant paid for our meal. We still don’t know who it was, but to whoever you are, a huge thank you! Your act of kindness was the spark for what turned out to be a wonderful day.

After our unexpected treat, we headed towards the trailhead for Gee Creek Falls. This was our first time on this trail, so we didn't know what to expect. The journey started on a paved road, which soon turned into gravel. Just as we hit the gravel, we encountered a large mud hole in the road. Choosing to go left, I steered the old blue Sienna minivan in the direction of least resistance, and thankfully, we made it through without any trouble.

We parked at the trailhead and began our hike, a pleasant 1.3 miles to the falls. The first half-mile was easy going, but after crossing a footbridge, the path narrowed, and we had to watch our steps more carefully. The trail followed Gee Creek closely, and we could see signs of past mining activities along the way.

Reaching the base of the falls, I found a large rock to sit on and set out to create. Now to be clear, I would not consider myself an artist, but I enjoy the process of creating. I had grabbed Elizabeth's drawing pad and a ballpoint pen from the car before we started, and I decided to try drawing the falls. As I sketched, the kids and Stephanie enjoyed their time playing in the creek and around the falls.

This brings me to a point I would like to discuss about the act of creating. In my opinion, the act of creating is an expression of the reality that we are made in God’s image. Being able to create is a special part of being human. Today, I want to emphasize the act of creating, NOT the outcome. I'm not great at drawing, but I love doing it, no matter how the sketches turn out. The same goes for music, or any creative endeavor. When we play music, it's us, human beings, vibrating the strings or our vocal cords, and this creates magic. The air vibrates, and we hear it as sound. Whether or not the sound is perfect doesn't take away from the fact that creation has occurred.

Just create folks, you don’t need to be a master musician or a trained painter to enjoy making something. So long as you find joy in the act of creating, that’s all that matters. If you keep at it, you'll get better. But don’t let the fear of the outcome stop you from starting.


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