Buzz… Buzz. ..Buzz…You slowly reach over and turn off your alarm. Your head plops back on the pillow and your to-to list starts running through your mind. Do you really have to get up now? Are your tasks today that important? Why isn’t there anything on your agenda that fills you with eagerness and anticipation?
Do you ever have days like this? Days that seem the same as all the others—without any spark of creativity? I do, and I feel sure that this is not the kind of life God wants for me, or for you.
Living creatively, as a child of God, means not being in a rut physically, emotionally, or spiritually. It requires more than just going through the motions at home or at work—more than just trying to do all the right things. It requires being open to new possibilities and embracing the unexpected. It also requires a willingness to make the changes necessary to live our lives the way we were designed to live them.
We can begin by studying the Bible and seeking inspiration in God’s word. We can lift our hearts in prayer, asking God, our Creator, for guidance. Who better to provide us with creative inspiration, than the one who created us in His image? God gave us all special abilities and, if we ask, He will give us opportunities to use them creatively.
We need to start observing the world around us creatively. Henry David Thoreau made this statement, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” We need to look at everyday things with eyes ready to see what we haven’t seen before. We need to look for the unexpected ways that God reveals himself to us every day. About 2000 years ago, many people missed the coming of the Messiah because they were looking for a Warrior and King, not a carpenter and teacher who was born in a stable. They didn’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah because they couldn’t see beyond what they expected.
I’d like to share an excerpt from the book Positively Pooh—Timeless Wisdom from Pooh. (Winnie the Pooh is one of my favorite philosophers.)
When talking to Eeyore, Pooh discovered that it was Eeyore’s birthday and rushed home to get a jar of honey to give as a gift. Pooh suddenly remembered that he had eaten all the honey.
“Bother!” Said Pooh. “What shall I do? I must give him something.”
For a little while he couldn’t think of anything. Then he thought: “Well, it’s a very nice pot, even if there’s no honey in it, and if I washed it clean, and got somebody to write ‘A Happy Birthday’ on it, Eeyore could keep things in it which might be useful.
In this scene, Pooh could have given up and gone to Eeyore’s house with nothing to offer, or just stayed home discouraged. But instead, he looked at the empty honey pot and saw possibilities. He saw that it could be so much more than it was. This is the way we need to look at the world around us, if we want to live creatively.
Creative living requires practice. We need to take in inspiration—to celebrate the beauty around us in nature, in art, and in life. Spend time outside, look at great art, listen to music, read a variety of literature, or maybe take a class. Appreciate the abilities given to others. Hang out with people who are actively using their gifts creatively. Exercise your imagination. Try out something new. Don’t worry about whether or not you are good at it. The goal is expression, not perfection.
It’s vital that we model creative living for our children and grandchildren. We give them a legacy of joy when we teach them to use their God-given creativity.
Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence. ~Eleanor Roosevelt