Today, I met some very creative and inspiring people who reminded me how important it is to be true to what is inside us and that any form of creativity is God's gift to us. It's often His way of renewing, restoring and strengthening us.
When we explore our creativity, we open ourselves to God: We are created in the image of God, the creator and within each of us is creativity far more than we imagine.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them". (Genesis 1:27)
In a world filled with stereotypes, we often find ourselves labelling people. "Sporty,” "intellectual,” "academic," and "artistic,", etc. It's as if only certain types of people are capable of being one thing. But we are multi-faceted creatures, and we often are far more capable and have within us gifts we haven't even discovered yet.
An example of this was a woman I met today who had enjoyed art as a child, and then as she had grown older, she stopped being creative. Recently she decided to do an online art class and astounded her friends by how talented she was. Her artwork is amazing, yet the talent had been lying dormant within her for many years until she decided to explore it for her own enjoyment. In the process, she has discovered what she creates is a great blessing and inspiration to others.
Not all of us will be published authors and artists, earning millions. Not all of us will go down in history for what we create. But is that the only reason we create?
Look at any of the great creative minds throughout history. Most did not seek to create to impress others; it was simply an extension of who they were.
When we think about being creative, it's helpful to remember that: We don't create for others. We don't create to impress or be the best. We create because we can.
What if you don't know what your gift is — what you're supposed to create? The answer is simple: Just try something!
A great way to unleash your creativity is to make an artist date—a time set apart to explore. Creativity is coaxed, not forced from within us, and we need to permit ourselves to stop "working" and to take an adventure.
Pick up some paper and a pencil and draw. Sit down at a computer and write. Grab a camera and start shooting. Make a short film. Tinker away at something. Build something. All you have to do to get started is engage.
Go and enjoy your surroundings, the outdoors. Do something that will cause you to cease work and unleash joy and the desire to play at something.
Give yourself space to breathe, flourish, and grow. Keep experimenting until you find something you love — and then keep doing it.
It doesn't have to be world-class or a work of genius. It doesn't even have to be "artistic" — because creativity can be found anywhere. It just has to matter to you.
How great it would be if you discovered something you never knew about yourself, another piece of your identity, simply by taking time out for an adventure and allowing yourself to play and create.
"One only need observe the natural world to see that God revels in adventure: cliffs, jungles, waterfalls, deserts, mountains, seas. When we take time for discovery, we put ourselves in the presence of the Great Adventurer. As we are outward bound, we sense an inward grace." (Julie Cameron).
Be blessed as you take some time out this week to create.
"And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze" (Exodus 35:30)
"For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; (Psalm 139:13-16)