One of the positive things that has come out of the last year is how much more creative we have all become. When I looked at Steph’s paintings, I was reminded of just what beauty we are capable of producing when we nourish our creativity. As Christians we are all born to be creative, but often we struggle to release this gift. There is often a divide between those who say they are creative and those who would say they definitely are not. But if we are born of God how can we not be creative. The seed of creativity is within all of us and it is down to each one of us to nourish it. How we use our creativity can be illustrated by the parable of the sower (Mark 4 1-20).
The seed on the path is our good intentions, we want to undertake a project but rapidly loose interest. The seed on the rocky soil are those projects which we start but we are not prepared to give sufficient time or preparation to and so the roots of our creativity are shallow so our work may be rushed, lacks effort or is left unfinished and our enthusiasm for it dies. The seed among thorns are those projects which we begin enthusiastically but we allow other cares or activities to overtake it or we let the criticism of others distract us and our project dies before it can thrive. But the seed that falls on good soil is when we put our time, our efforts, our hearts into a project, when we see it through to the end and then who knows what we are capable of producing.
Anyone who is creative is also prepared to work at that creativity. Steph said that she had bought some blank postcards and painted her pictures after each of her walks. She didn’t see the scenes she painted and thought that it would be a nice idea to paint them but then forgot about it when she got home. She didn’t rush the paintings by trying to do them while she was on her walk, but would have made brief sketches of the scenes in preparation for further work. And when she returned home, she obviously set time aside to complete her paintings and we are now privileged to get to see the finished results.
If we want to be creative, we need to allow ourselves time to create and perhaps that means switching off our favourite TV show or giving up being on a committee or even getting up earlier. We have time to be creative it is about working out how to find that time. And we need to experiment with our creativity, we don’t want to just copy someone else but we need to practise so that we find our own voice. And we need to take one step at a time, to begin with only show our projects to those we know will support us as too much criticism can kill creativity. But above all listen to God. Is there an area of creativity that God is nudging you into? God has put that seed of creativity inside all of us and if we believe that we have this treasure within us then we should allow God to show us how to use it.
Let us use the following Bible passages about creativity as our prayer for today.
- 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 35:31-32
- He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer. – Exodus 35:35
- Moreover, there are many workmen with you, stonecutters and masons of stone and carpenters, and all men who are skilful in every kind of work. “Of the gold, the silver and the bronze and the iron there is no limit. Arise and work, and may the LORD be with you.” – 1 Chronicles 22:15-16
- Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service in our serving; the one who teaches’ in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. – Romans 12: 6-8
Creator God we thank you for the gift of creativity, may we be willing to give our time and effort to use that creativity to your glory. Amen.
Reflection written by Lesley Heffer