This weekend my creative soul emerged from hibernation. I tinkered with my camera and took some fun shots. I enjoyed scouring though photography blogs, surfing my way through pinterest and picking up ideas. And I spent some time thinking though a few creative projects for the home.
It was a lot of fun.
I felt like a small part of me was restored, and re-awakened. Amidst busy schedules, small children, visitors in and out of the home, I’d got stuck on a treadmill of monotony. Engaging in creativity, or even just admiring creativity in others, brings me alive. And I’d forgotten that.
But even more significantly there was a missing emotion for me after wiling away my hours in creativity. Guilt. Creativity often feels like a luxury, something that could always be replaced by a more important task or relationship.
Subconsciously I’ve always seen creativity as something that replaces something else, something more important. If I’m being creative, then I’m not spending time with God. And that’s always more important. Seeing this written in black & white, I see both the absurdity and intensity of the lie. And though I like to think I don’t separate into “secular” and “sacred”, I clearly do to some degree.
When I look back at that weekend of creativity, as I sat in the stillness, whilst kids played happily in their rooms, I was just enjoying my own thoughts and interjections from God as he spoke to me in and through what I was doing. A life lived with Jesus doesn’t need to be about kneeling by my bed in prayer. Which is a good job as you won’t often find me there.
No wonder I’ve never fully enjoyed being creative; there’s been too much guilt entangled in it all. I’d removed “the essence of faith from the particulars of daily human life and relocated it in special times, places, and states of mind”*
Our God is a creative God. He creates. He is the Creator. He loves creation, and I think He loves it when I’m being creative. He is with me as much in the creative and the mundane moments as He is in a “prayer meeting”.
I guess the crux of it is this: Does my whole life give glory to God? I’ve been trying to approach each day much more from this perspective, choosing to see life as a whole rather than in two camps.
Let us practice the fine art of making every work a priestly ministration. Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.
Tozer, The pursuit of God
* Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines