Delighted with Creativity

Rock formations at the Trona Pinnacles, California
Rock formations at the Trona Pinnacles, California

God is the infinite creative.  For seven days, He created with creativity – the mountains, the rivers, the valleys, the plains, the oceans, the animals, the plants, so much more.  He even set extra creativity in place: When the flowers reproduce themselves and when the snowflakes fall from the sky, no two are ever identical.

Flowers at Willowwood Arboretum, New Jersey
Flowers at Willowwood Arboretum, New Jersey

We were created in the image of God.  So we, too, innately love creativity.  We appreciate the creativity that God put into His creation – the variances in the views from one mountain or another, the different kinds of trees and other plants, the fascinating aspects of various birds and animals.  You never have to look very far to find creativity in the natural world.

Maple tree at Netul Landing, Washington
Maple tree at Netul Landing, Washington

God’s creativity is infinite.  He can create beauty out of ugliness and make something amazing out of nothing.  Most of us have to rely on inspiration from what we see around us or feel in our emotions.  But God’s creativity is so totally beyond ours that it can surprise us if we’re not in tune with His Spirit (and even then, it can and should blow our minds from time to time!)

Views from Honan Point, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Views from Honan Point, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The other day, I was enjoying the results of a creative project I’d recently finished.  It was a labor of love and creativity.  I know that God put the ideas and original desire for the project in my heart – even planting seeds long ago to sprout into beauty.  (Very few of our creative projects come out of nowhere – they’ve been growing within us for years.  So it’s ok to rest in the process of creativity and try again – and again – and again – until it comes out right.)

Waterfall on the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, New Hampshire
Waterfall on the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, New Hampshire

As I prayed about this nearly completed creative project, I began to realize God’s pleasure in it.  Not just that it was a dream He had planted the seeds for; the ideas that He had placed in my heart.  It was a pleasure in seeing the creativity placed inside of me that had become something tangible.  Like a parent loves to see what creative and beautiful picture their child has made with an art set, this was a pleasure in seeing what I had done with what He had given to me.

Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington
Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

As we follow Christ, sometimes we get so worked up about the creative projects God has given us to accomplish.  Are we doing it right?  Should we use red or gray here?  Make this choice or another?  Will God be pleased if we add this or that?  It takes the fun and creativity out of the project or assignment because we’re constantly afraid that we’ll bungle it.

Sawmill Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Sawmill Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

While it’s completely true that we need to follow God’s heart in our projects and assignments, it’s also true that He has placed within us what is necessary to complete what He has asked us to do.  That includes creativity.  We were not created to be robots only ever doing pre-programmed tasks.

The Chimneys in Big Bend National Park, Texas
The Chimneys in Big Bend National Park, Texas

It actually brings joy to God’s heart when we use what He has given us.  When an artist picks up a canvas, paint, and brushes, they will bring forth what God has placed in their heart – but the creativity in the colors and the design will bring joy to the heart of God.  When an engineer or architect designs a building, they have to stick to a plan that will make the building structurally sound – but their creativity will bring joy and awe when they are creative enough to make the building beautiful instead of utilitarian.

Wildflowers in Bonneville Pass, Wyoming
Wildflowers in Bonneville Pass, Wyoming

Give yourself the permission to be creative as well as following closely after God.  If you’re living with His Spirit (the very Breath of God) inside of you, your creative processes will be in tune with God.  Be sensitive enough to Him to immediately turn if He tells you to do something.  But also be willing to take what God has given you and create something completely unique and totally creative.

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