The other night I was speaking with a dear friend of mine about some of the the struggles that we have been going through personally and how those struggles are related to some of the things that frustrate us about the world. We were speaking in particular of how difficult it is to find a faith community that we are either comfortable with or that interacts with us as whole people (body, mind, spirit and soul). I mentioned to her that one of the things I find most difficult in my interactions with other conservative Christians is the lack of ability and interest in creativity among most of my Christian friends. “In fact,” I told D, ” I find that creatively and expressively I have more in common and am more comfortable with those friends of mine who are counter-cultural, free thinkers and who have as one of their purposes in life the exploration of themselves and their abilities.”
Now before someone jumps down my throat and starts listing all of the creative Christians that they know (and that willingness to fight is another problem and another post) let me explain what I mean…
When I speak of creativity, I am not talking about painting, or home decorating or wood carving or any other kind of creative expression. I am talking about having an approach to the world and life that says “I am a Maker, a creator in a finite sense and I am on this earth to improve, to beautify and to restore that which is broken. I am here in this unique moment, as a unique and complete person to do something that no other person before or after me would be able to do, and everything I do must serve that creative purpose.”
As human beings we have the unique ability to act in ways that will be felt far beyond our own lifespans. We influence our children and perhaps our grandchildren directly and we influence countless others through the influence we have on the few we touch. That is one reason we create.
The other main reason we create is simply that we must. We cannot go for an hour without creating. Even when we sleep, our busy brains compile dreams from all of the input they have received throughout the day. As human beings made to reflect a Creator, creating is essential to our make-up. Now we can create negatively or positively: that is our choice, but we are always creating.
When we speak kindly to those around us no matter how aggravating, we are creating. When we yell at the bad driver in front of us, we are creating. Just as a nicely decorated room, a book or a painting can create a mood or a feeling; our words and our body language create for us all day long. All day long, in every interaction (and in our internal thoughts) we are creating. This is powerful stuff.
For example: I realized recently that I needed to be very careful with my thoughts and aggravations about S. If he did something that annoyed me in the morning and I remembered it and added to it all day long, by the end of the day I had not only created a mountain of “wrongs” that really weren’t a big deal, but I had also gotten myself into a grumpy, put-upon mood that carried over into every interaction ( not just those with S). Some creation!
The really frustrating thing about this “creation” was that it seemed pretty normal and involuntary. I wasn’t consciously creating, yet when I was able to analyze what was going on creation was surely occurring. In fact so much creation was occurring that I had no creative energy left with which to write! More and more I realize that as an image-bearer of a Creator I am also not just creative but a creator in everything that I do.
Why create? Create consciously because you are always creating unconsciously. How much better would things be, if we owned the things we made?Pin It