Is Being Creative A Spiritual Issue?

{By Ellery Sadler}

I love the idea of being creative.

I love the idea of sitting down to a worn wooden desk and mixing paint on a colorful palette and spending my time scouring wildflower filled fields for inspiration.

I love the idea snatching my camera and snapping pictures on a walk in the woods.

I love the idea of pulling out a blank notebook and starting to scribble away at a new story – daydreaming about characters and mapping out plot-lines and eavesdropping on coffee shop conversations.

is being creative a spiritual issue

I love the idea of being creative because there is something slow and natural and magical about letting your fingers guide themselves or letting your mind wander and make its own world.

Creativity like that is beautiful, but it takes time. Time that I honestly don’t have these days between all my other commitments. But creativity is life.

It is the lifeblood of our existence because when we are being creative, we are the closest to being like our Creator.

It is raw and organic and free. It is the purest form of living. It is the act of bringing into being something that did not exist before you put paint on paper or ink on the page.

God created you to be creative.

Yes, you. Your creativity may not be with a paintbrush, it may be with business. It may be with film or photography or lining up numbers in dozens of rows or fixing engines or putting polish on fingernails. Whatever area it is in, you were given the ability to create.

And when you ignore that calling to creativity by drowning it in a hectic schedule, there is a piece of you that slowly becomes callous. Soon you forget that you were made to create and you begin to copy. You listen to other people’s ideas. You follow other people’s definition of success. You copy their drawings. You paraphrase their words. You follow their business model.

Now of course there is value in listening and learning from others. But be aware and guard yourself against the inclination to copy. Think for yourself. Explore. Create. Try new things.

Recently I’ve been scheduling out my days so that I have a least a little bit of time each afternoon to do something creative or crafty that I love. For me that often means cooking. As most of you know, the kitchen is one of my favorite places to be adventurous. But I’ve also been trying other, faster ways to be creative.

How to Be Creative In Just 10 Minutes

– Go outside and listen. For 10 minutes pause and listen to how many different things you hear. Birds? Ocean? Tree branches scraping together? Metros rushing past?

– Write a note. Notice I said note – not letter. Grab a card and write a quick note to a friend. Nobody does this anymore, but I can guarantee that it will make their day. Getting mail is one of the simple (rare) joys of life.

– Take a walk without your phone. Leave the phone behind. No snapping pictures for Instagram or responding to texts. Just walk and feel the crunch of melting snow beneath your boots and the sun seeping through your coat. Breathe in. Breathe out.

– Color. You don’t need anything fancy, just some colored pencils or a pen or markers or whatever makes you happy. And then color. You don’t need to be Monet or worry about it looking good, just draw whatever comes into your head for 10 minutes. Color like you did when you were a kid. Messy. Real. Fast.

– Look at books. Look through books of recipes, crafts, or short stories. Do not go on Pinterest. Pinterest may be inspiring or make you feel cool, but if you actually want to spark some creativity get a book in your hands and flip the pages, feel the binding, smell the ink.

– Read Poetry. Aloud. Now, I’m not a huge fan of poetry myself. (I still don’t understand why some of it doesn’t rhyme.) But even I can read poetry for 10 minutes. And the sound of the words on your tongue and the rhythm of them as you read aloud will give your brain the fuel to be creative.

– Write. This is my favorite. Pick up a pen or pencil (no computers allowed) and write. Write poetry if you want. Write a character sketch. Write a love song. Write a prayer. Write until you feel the words come easily. Don’t think about it, just let your thought bleed out on the page in black and white. 10 minutes. That’s all it takes.

So is being creative a spiritual issue? Yes. Yes, I think it is. I believe that God created us with the unique ability to be creative. To reflect Him to the world, we are called to be creative. 

Creating is worship. Creativity is praise.

 

What are your favorite ways to be creative? 

 

 

 

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