There was a point in my life where it seemed like everyone else had astoundingly creative ideas, and I— well, I just didn’t.
I felt very dull. I was very dull, probably.
But there came a time when I realized that it wasn’t that I didn’t have ideas. In fact, once I became aware of them, I was almost overwhelmed by the abundance.
It was simply that I didn’t do them.
(Note: the doing of ideas is significantly more difficult than the having of them.)
I suspect that there are more people out there like me- who have ideas but don’t carry them through. And you know what? That makes me feel sad. It makes me feel sad because I have come to believe that when we squelch our creative ideas, we are actually suppressing a part of ourselves that God meant for us to keep very alive- a place in our souls that is meant to be churning and boiling and quivering. I’m not talking about dumb ideas here. I’m talking about the ideas that are so alive that they could practically dance all on their own without help from you. I hope that you have one or two of those kinds of ideas tucked away somewhere close to your heart.
I have been blabbing on about ideas, when the title of this post is “Creation”. Ideas and creation are very closely linked. The ideas come first and creation occurs when we turn our ideas into something real. Not something perfect, but something real. We were created to create. We are made in the image of the Creator. The Creator brought you to life with his breath, and creativity and the desire to create flow through your veins.
Let’s pause and think about our Creator for a moment.
God could have created the world any way that he wanted to. He could have snapped his fingers and a complete world would have bounced into place. But no. He took time.
It was a process.
Day by day, new beauties and systems were developed.
He took time to evaluate his work. He examined it closely. The morning stars sang together. Deep called to deep. The rocks cried out. The mountains and the hills sang before him. The trees of the field clapped their hands. The lilies of the field smiled serenely. The birds of the air were free and fed.
Piece by piece, the project came together.
He breathed over it all and life flourished.
Tov meod- It was very good. It was a very good idea.
Just think- this Artist made you in his image. You are like him.
So why is it that we so often avoid our ideas and the process of creation?
Here’s the answer:
Because creation often looks like a whole lot of work to us humans. We come to despise the very thing that can bring us to life. We reject ideas for different reasons. Because the idea is too crazy. Because it’s not practical. Because we don’t have time. Because we don’t have money. Because we don’t have energy.
We have so many beautiful opportunities to create (to bring our ideas to life), and we just view it as work. I think that this is Satan’s doing- part of the fall and one of his greatest thefts. I think that he breathes a sigh of relief when we choose to ignore those ideas that whisper in our souls. When we dismiss an idea as unrealistic or impractical. God can dwell in those ideas.
If you never act on any of your ideas, and never make any of the things that you want to make or do the things that you want to do, you are depriving yourself. I’m sorry, but you are. You might be managing just fine. You might be managing your time well. You might be saving money. But you are missing out.
We can create in many different ways. Travel, writing, learning, painting, lesson plans, gardening, cooking and baking, sewing, taking pictures, making videos, and relationships. (Side note- ideas and creation do not always produce something tangible.)
Here are several things about ideas and creativity for you to think about.
Don’t be fooled. In the world that we live in today, we have so much creative stimulation (ahem- Pinterest) that it is easy to feel creatively fulfilled without actually creating anything. Scrolling through idea after idea, and even pinning some of them for “future use”, can give me a cheap imitation of the satisfaction that comes from creating something. Challenge- actually create.
Create in familiar and new ways. We all create in different ways. I listed some of them earlier. Recognize the things that you take joy in creating, but don’t be afraid to try new ideas and different types of creation.
Don’t be afraid of processes. We live in a world where efficiency is valued. We always want the fastest and simplest way to do things. Creation is rarely fast and simple. It’s often messy. And time-consuming. And somewhat frustrating because things never quite turn out the way that you expect them to. (Or maybe that just happens to me.) Learn to enjoy processes and the results. Embrace the whole project, not just the finished product. Sometimes we gain more from the process than we do from the finished product.
There is a day
when the road neither
comes nor goes, and the way
is not a way but a place.
Share your creation. The things that we create are not meant to be kept to ourselves. Art, food, writing, music, pictures, lesson plans, beautiful memories… These things were meant to be shared. They bring us together and they bring us to the core of who we truly are and they bring us to God.
Don’t exhaust yourself. I’m not telling you that you have to do all of your ideas. That you have to constantly create. Sometimes ideas aren’t good ones. Sometimes it really isn’t the right time. I’m just saying that it’s good to pay attention to your ideas. Be slow to dismiss an idea that feels like it is bursting with life. Don’t let laziness or fear keep you from something beautiful.
I think that heaven must be absolutely glowing with ideas and creation. Why wouldn’t it be? It is, after all, the birthplace of all creativity.
God, the center of all beauty and new life, lights that kingdom. I like the thought of heaven being a place for creating- for bringing ideas to life. For communal creation and individual creation, all free from the insecurities, jealousy, hesitancy, and fear that we bring to the table here on earth.
But for now?
I will be content and I will work hard to create right where I am.