This past week, with Halloween, I got to see some really creative costumes, and I loved it. They showed some definite imagination – some were clever, some were store bought, some were unique compilations of stuff from around the house. It was great to see creativity coming to the forefront; it was great to see the uniqueness of every costume coming to the Church Hall.
What happened the next day, however, was that everyone was back to conformity. Kids walking to school were all wearing similar outfits; the cut of jeans, the brands of hoodies, the matching hairstyles. It happens in the adult world too – we can sometimes quash our creative instincts in order to fit in, to not raise attention, to be anonymous in the crowd.
I think however, that God calls us to be creative. We are all different and unique; we are all made in the image of God. So why not embrace the godly uniqueness and celebrate it? I think God wants us to be awed, be inspired, be creative – in whatever form suits us, whether it’s painting, music, fashion style – whatever. Write a (casual) report in rhyme. Add an unexpected ingredient to an old favourite dish or try an altogether new recipe. Sing out in church; visit an art museum, try a new craft with the Sunday School.
My point is this: I believe God calls for us to think outside the box. Anything is possible! God designed our natural world so that we could be amazed and inspired by it. Leaves changing colours, the beauty in the first snowfall, a rainbow in the sky. Life outside our windows is amazing and comes from the Creator, so let’s tap into some of that creative energy! After all, if we don’t use that creativity, we’re rejecting one of God’s gifts in order to conform to the ordinary, the mundane, the boring.
The challenge of course comes from determining HOW to be creative. Letting the long-restrained imagination out can be difficult. So we have to figure out what makes us feel alive – and then do it! Appreciate colours, play with words, delight in movement. It doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t have to be public, but it should be something that defines who we are in response to God’s gifts to us.
Whether we are excellent at our creative endeavours or not is not the point – the creative space isn’t about being perfect, it’s about creating. This is not a finished product, but an ongoing evolving process. It’s messy, it’s life-giving, it’s fun. And it’s spiritual when we let it be.
By bringing God into our own creativity, we are allowing for the child-like enjoyment of the imagination, letting the gifts flow out of us to make the world a better place. Don’t listen to the critics – we can always find those – listen to God speaking in your heart. And then find a way to show the world what that message of creating love is all about.