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Creativity

Dear Friends,

        “In the beginning God created…”  That’s amazing isn’t it??  The first thing God did was create.  And since He made us in His image, we are people who can, and I believe also, must create in order to be happy and well-adjusted people.  I know this is true for me.

        Yesterday I was painting the family room of our house, and even though it was laborious and tedious, I walked away from this project (even though it isn’t finished) with a sense of satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment.  It brought me a peace even though all of the furniture is in the middle of the room, making the room a real mess.

        After doing enough painting for one night, just before I was ready to go to bed, I decided to take out my guitar and play and record something simple.  While cleaning out some of the shelves in the room we were painting, Lori found some old song books from our past when we were Young Life leaders, and some even older song books that her mother must have given her.  These song books could have come from their HI-BA club that they used to attend in Brooklyn or from a camp or from their youth group when they were teenagers.  It was fun just to look through them and imagine the hands that must have touched these before, and how they were used to sing praises to God and Jesus.  Somehow, I found it creative just to hold these and finger through them.  It helped put me in a creative mood which I was already in because of the painting we had done.

        So, I set up my iPod on the coffee table in front of me in our living room, put the fire on, added the portable microphone to the top of the iPod, and recorded “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.”  This of course is an old praise and worship song that we used to sing in more informal settings like camp, youth group, and, maybe, Sunday evening service.  Back in those days, it was nice to sing a song like this as compared to the more formal and older hymns.  (Nothing against hymns; I’m glad I was brought up with them and they mean a great deal to me.  I enjoy playing these songs on my electric guitar and rocking out with them all loud as I possibly can.)

        When I was finished I put on the earphones to hear how it sounded.  In case you are curious, I am anything but a polished musician; I’m more of a rock and roll wanta-be.  But certainly, one of my creative outlets is the guitar.  For me to play is therapy.  I can lose myself in the creative process of the sound and the beat.  I just love music anyway of all sorts, and I am so happy with God that He gave us such a gift.

        My point through all of this is that I believe one of the many things creativity does is stave off depression.  It is necessary and divine medicine for the soul.  Each of us have been given a variety of gifts and we need to take them seriously if we want to be healthy on all levels (e.g., physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually).  Maybe you a good painter or you just simply enjoy doing it.  Perhaps you have let too much time go by and have put it down in favor of all the responsibility life is throwing at you.  Resist this temptation away from creativity regardless of your gifts and lack of time.  Face the fear that you are not good enough or as good as someone else you know.  Remember, the first thing God did was create.

        Also, my writing devotionals for whoever takes the time to read them, is a very creative thing for me to do.  While counseling, I have the rare opportunity to listen to people tell me about what is really going on in their lives.  Because of this, I learn many things about others, myself, the world we live in, how we relate to each other, and about how God shows up in common people’s lives.  By listening, I take in information and learn.  By writing you, I give out information.  It is necessary for my own sense of balance.  I hope you appreciated and grow from these devotionals.

        I encourage you to be creative by making something that wasn’t there before.  By doing so, you will be adding something to the world that wasn’t there before.  Then, share it with others and listen to those around you who will encourage you.  Shut out the voices wanting to diminish what you have created.  And if you can, give away what God has given you.

 

                                                 Creatively,

                                                 Paul