We have all been made by God with an undeniable creativity. We all express it differently but nevertheless we are creative. I have found that in my life creativity flourishes under different conditions. There are times when a moment of stress births a necessary creative response. A crisis can do that, whereas living in perceived crisis mode will usually suck any creative juices dry. Second, surrounding myself with other creatives has and does cultivate creativity. There is nothing like the energy in the room filled with creative minds committed to sharing a creative spirit. I have found, however, that this also has its limits. Too many creative minds for too long of a time has always resulted in copying rather than creativity in my life. That is why my motto for the conferences I attend is, “get one thing and then I’m out of here.” I believe that when choosing a conference to attend your motto should be “location, location, location.” Third, I have found the discipline of “working it out” and in particular with others has many times produced a creative result. Sometimes the process produces a creativity that I would or could not have expressed on my own, the type that comes only as a result of being developed by a team. I have often found that this team does not need to be full of people that others would label as “creative” but that when people of all creative stripes are given a clear purpose and put their minds together in a disciplined process amazing things can and do happen.
But for me, by far, the greatest means of engendering creativity in my mind and spirit is space in my life. You can call it, “boredom”, “stillness”, even “wasting time” if you want, but I prefer to call it “space”. This space has a physical, emotional, and spiritual aspect to it. Space in my life is when my focus on the presence of God is heightened. I love the fact that I live a creative life. I also know that being connected to the Creator is essential to all of this. This is why we sabbath. One day a week where we “do nothing”, “veg”, “be lazy.” A day to rest and to live as unto God. That is space! The problem is that so many of us don’t have this regular rhythm of space. We get weighed down and personalize our responsibilities and decisions instead of living our lives reminded that our lives are part of God’s everlasting legacy.
I am presently experiencing a self imposed, God directed, sabbatical. I was reminded of Buchanan’s words that one won’t be able to fully experience the beauty of a sabbatical if they don’t know how to sabbath. These words are painfully true enough. Even as I learn to embrace “boredom”, “stillness”, and “laziness,” I am finding that God is birthing in me a new found creativity and passion for what could be. So today I am thankful to God, giving Him praise for slacking!