1 March, 2016 40 days of change-Lent, 2016
Creative – So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. 2 Corinthians 4:18
When a person is deemed ‘creative’, often what is being referred to is their talent in the arts. Painting, making music and crafts all come to mind. I see creativity having a broader and yet more specific meaning. I think creativity could be looked at in terms of an attitude. Another way of explaining this, could be to see possibility, and search for possibility. That is where we get the expression ‘thinking outside the box’. There is an element of ‘quest’ with creativity: and I would say that this is what differentiates it from the casual use of the word today. Not so much about skill, but about approaching with the attitude of exploration and possibility. As people of faith, this should come naturally. We have belief in someone we cannot see, and in events we did not witness. These things could have possibly been stumbling blocks for us at some point in our journeys, but they haven’t stopped us from pursuing a relationship with God; in other words, we chose to approach those things and not see them as dead ends, but as possibilities.
One of the names for God is Creator. God created the heavens and the earth, night and day, land and sea and every living thing. You may have heard the phrase ‘God has a plan for your life’. I remember a preacher called Stoval Weems once saying God didn’t only get creative ‘in the beginning’… I know He is creative every day with me that’s for sure. I’m pretty sure I messed up His first plan for my life, and that goes for His second plan too, and third and forth…forget plan B I’m probably on about plan M by now! Hallelujah for a God who thinks outside the box! And for a long alphabet! Jesus exuded creativity, and still does, in how he used situations around Him to tell parables, how He showed people truths about our Father, and even the way he spoke with those who opposed Him. If we were to reflect on where we see God working in our lives, I suspect we might see these same things again; a Lord who uses every day situations: conversations, sights, lyrics etc. to draw us closer, teach us, make Himself known and remind us time and time again how very loved we are. We should be noticed as believers for being creative, as our God is, and thinking outside the box in how we live as a disciple of Jesus.
Whether we spend our days in the home, classroom, office, or outdoors; with friends, family, colleagues or strangers, there is a way of approaching our days that adopts the characteristic of being creative. Practically, a good place to start is to think of three things in your day that nearly always happen. Examples might be standing on a train platform for 20 minutes, doing the washing up and being in a shop. Being creative in your three situations would involve approaching them with fresh eyes each time you are in them. What can you use that time to pray for? What could you say to show kindness to those around you? How could you partner with God in that moment and glorify Him? I hope this is just the start, and our attitudes might alter to seeing possibility and choosing to act creatively in how we live as Jesus’s disciples.