Don't Give Me the Church Version

“I want to hear the real drum solo,” he said turning around to look at the man sitting behind a curtain of cymbals. There was a brief pause as he made sure of eye contact, and then pointed directly at his heart before repeating the command:
“I want to hear a drum solo. A REAL drum solo. Not the church version.”
I sat watching as a sly smile spread across the drummer’s face, and then his hands started to fly. With tens of thousands of eyes on his movements, from the middle of a crowded arena, erupted sound of worship from the drum kit. A song that was unscripted and never performed before, came from within the musician and from the heart of the Creator Himself.
The man leading the event, begged the drummer, in the midst of the crescendo’s, to use his talent, his gift, to bless those in attendance as well as every ear that would from that moment on, hear his drum song.
The man sitting on the stool didn’t hold back. He played from the heart. You could tell he was all in: eyes closed most of the time, fully engaged. He wasn’t worried about what anyone else was thinking or doing. He was focused on playing the song that was within him— giving his best, pouring himself out, completely.
As I sat watching from my screen on the other side of the world, I wondered, how many creatives need to be reminded of this. That the world is waiting for:

The realsolo. Not the church version.
The real words. Not the watered down message.
The real effort. Not the mediocre performance.
The real paintings, the real photos, the real lyrics and music.
The real you.

Not what someone else is telling you to sound like, look like, or create.
Not a copy of what someone else (or everyone else) is doing.
But what YOU were created to do.
What you were born to bring to the table. To infect the world with. To initiate. To give generously.

Because what you have is needed. What you have been given is not yours to keep. Your purpose is not for your own glory. Your talents are not yours to hold tightly and then water down and spit out without much effort.

It is not meant to be contained, but to be dispersed.  And not always in the skillfully polished, and precisely packaged way that we think our gifts need to be.
We need to stop trying to make sure our message is perfect, before we open our mouth or press the send button. We need to be ok with sharing the raw and gritty, not just the beautiful or calculated. We must move past worrying what others think, what others are doing, what others think we should be doing, or how we should be doing it, and just move.
Today brings us into the second week of July. The second half of 2015. The second half!? 
Are you giving the cute and polished church version of your talent to the world? Or are you allowing your creativity, your voice, your skills to be unleashed and used in powerful ways (although maybe not always so pretty)?
The first half of the year is over and we can either stumble and fumble through the next six months, disappointed in our efforts, in our successes and focused only on our failures. Or, we can start afresh.
People are waiting. Not for the church version, but for the real thing. The real you.