When my son was younger one of his favorite things to do was play with Lego’s. I remember getting down in the middle of the living room floor with him once; he described to me the game that we were going to play. In his mind he had created a game that would include us creating space ships and all that goes with them. I was so impressed with all of his creativity; he had created, not only a game, but several concepts in his mind for his ship.
We spent several hours just creating the ships for the game. What I discovered was we never really played the game…we spent all our time just working and reworking our ships. It was amazing how many ways we could create and recreate our ships. For each idea that I had to make our space ships look great, Joel, my son, had twenty others.
It was a lesson for me about the importance of making room for creativity on our Life Palette in order to live as the masterpiece God created us to be. There are always many ways to accomplish what God has placed within our hearts to accomplish, when one way does not work we need to tap into the creativity that God has placed within us.
I want to challenge you to do something today, it’s a high risk, high yield investment, it’s a two part challenge, first, pray this prayer: “God, unleash creativity in my life.” God is a creative God and you are created in His image as His masterpiece. Maybe you need creativity in your marriage, your family, your career, your recreational life, or in friendships. Regardless of the area of need, He desires to unleash His creativity in you.
The second part of the challenge is this: Carve out some creativity time today. To live as the masterpiece God created you to be, it’s imperative to make building time on your Life Palette to just think in a creative way. Discover things that inspire your creative thoughts; sitting in a coffee shop, listening to music, time alone, time with others. For me one of the most inspiring things I do to prepare for my weekly talk and for writing is I paint. While painting is a creative thing in and of itself, it inspires more creativity in my life. I don’t know where or what it is for you, but you need to discover it and have it operative on your Life Palette. Here’s how:
1. Set aside time to Brainstorm.
In our fast paced culture busyness is the enemy to creativity. The more time you set aside for creative brainstorming the more productive you will be. “But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” (Luke 5:16 NLT)
2. Develop The Art of Variation.
It’s easy to get into a rut in any area of our lives and miss out on all that God wants to do in and through you as His masterpiece. Even Jesus used variation:
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “Teacher,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way. Your faith has healed you.” And instantly the blind man could see!” (Mark 10:51-52 NLT)
“Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smoothed the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam” So the man went and washed, and came back seeing!” John 9:6-7 (NLT)
What area of your life needs some creative variation? Maybe you need to take a different route to work, pray at a different time, take your spouse to a different restaurant or perhaps order something different from the menu.
This week my staff and I got into the car to go to a staff lunch. When they asked me where I wanted to go I replied “somewhere that none of us has been.” At first everyone thought it would be hard to do, but eventually we found a place. It turned out great. Turns out the owner goes to our church, the lady that served us goes to our church, we loved the food and atmosphere and I ran into a guy that I had been praying for and was able to encourage him.
3. Take More Risk With Your Creativity.
Nothing stifles creativity more than fear. Fear will keep you from taking risk. This all goes back to the rut problem. You know you can do something so you play it safe and don’t step out to live as a masterpiece. Creativity requires risk! “Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us.” (2 Cor. 4:11 Msg)
Creativity is all about doing things different. As God’s masterpiece He created you to live life as only you can live it and do things that only you can do. Take this challenge today and begin to make creativity a lifestyle. Our God is a creative God and He has created us in His image. We need to daily discipline ourselves to continually look at everything we are doing with creative minds and hearts. Before settling for a way to do something or accomplish something, come up with many ways and pick the best of them all.
And when you are feeling frustrated and drained of all creativity – take a few hours and sit with someone under the age of 10 and play with Lego’s…I guarantee it will rejuvenate your God-given creativity.