I started writing a blog about how I’m combating this bad attitude I kept barely suppressed for a few weeks, but it was dumb and overflowing with self pity. Plus, I’m pretty sure I’m winning, and no one is writing a biopic on my struggles, so I’m moving on.
I’m reading this book called Primal by Mark Batterson. It’s about the “prime” or root commandment of Christianity, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” He breaks down each section of that phrase into two chapters, providing practical examples and applications about what it might look like to love the Lord with all your soul, to love Him with all your mind, to love Him with all your heart and to love Him with all your strength.
I’m not in love with the book itself but only because of the writing style, which I find roundabout and at times redundant. The concepts and lessons in the book, however, are great. The latest chapter I read was about creativity, and there were parts of the chapter that openly challenged those of us who are satisfied with, adherent to and defensive of the status quo. It was awesome. It touched that punk rock nerve ending I’ve been holding onto since I was a teenager. God is creative, and we should be, too.
I could rehash the whole chapter here, but its not my point. My point is that this creative nature of each of us as humans is not simply vital for our spiritual life and indicative of our spiritual maturity, it is vital for our sanity and indicative of our passion for life. Rote is the killer of passion and passion is the spice of life.
It’s easy for me to talk about the redeeming qualities of creativity. My living room boasts two guitars, an ukulele and a bass, all of which have been used to write a variety of songs. Becky’s closet is overflowing with half-filled notebooks of songs and poetry the two of us have written. The time I invest in being creative, while sometimes incredibly frustrating in the moment when I can’t figure out how to get from a really awesome chorus back to the verse, is supremely refreshing. It’s like deep tissue massage therapy. While it’s in progress, you may want to strangle the masseuse, but an hour or so later, when you back is like wonderful, pliable silly putty, you want to give them a borderline inappropriately long hug.
And yet, despite the creative outlets I’ve carved into my life, some of the best, most satisfying creative moments have occurred in less obvious areas. It could be adding a new ingredient to an old recipe because you have a hunch it will taste good. It is often generating a new spreadsheet at work that mines a new dataset your employer (or church) finds useful. It could be as simple as going straight instead of making that first right and discovering a whole new way home from work. It could be seeking out a new way to say “I Love You” to your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend or child. Saying it with words never gets old, but it does get stale. Everyone has facets of their life that require or could benefit from some creativity. Get on it.