Elevator Conversations December 2nd, 2007
I’d like to share a bit about my friend and housemate Anna Lenau. She is a student at S.U. and a singer/songwriter of some seriously powerful material. Here is a picture of her holding our older daughter, Jaya. Anna and i recorded some of her songs in our living room about a week ago, and i’ve finished engineering a few of them, which can be heard hereI’m happy with how the first two tracks turned out, and should be finishing 4 more in the next few weeks. I don’t know about you, but i’ve been finding that engaging in creativity is VERY important to my well being. it doesn’t seem to matter what the ”content” is either. in the past few weeks i have been able to do electronic music production (as well as the project i mentioned above), bicycle mechanics, graphic design/stencil printing, making a coat rack for our home (i call it the Space Cactus), a little “sculpture project” (untitled, but I LOVE IT!! i’ll have to post a photo soon), and a bit of home decorating. that sounds like a lot, but creating/building is SO energizing for me, i pretty much just fly right thru the stuff. it gives me more energy just to participate in making/improving something. even when it’s in the form of a conversation. It might sound funny to make such a big deal out of this, but it really is huge for me. This brings me to a thought i’d like your feedback on. If we are God-followers, most of us expect to represent this God’s characteristics in our lives. We believe that God’s qualities will show up in our lives (though not necessarily instantly), and that it is up to us to live out these characteristics. I can not say “i follow Jesus, but i don’t really care to act like him, or figure out what he’s like”.my point is- to me it’s completely obvious that a large part of God’s character is creativity. it seems like he likes to make stuff, and not just for pragmatic/functional reasons, but for beauty or mystery, story-telling and friendship, excitement or just pure enjoyment. if he does this, do we? do we see it as one of our “spiritual disciplines” to be creative? if my premise is correct, then to make something (be it useful or not, beautiful or not, etc.) is to act like this God.Here’s a more concrete example– many times when bringing people down to the Bread of Life Mission to volunteer there, people would remark that it felt natural, energizing or just “good” to serve. I’d usually explain that they felt that way because that’s one of the things God created us to do- to serve others. we don’t do it much, so when we actually DO serve, we notice those encouraging feelings.I think it’s the same with creating, but people often want to separate creativity as some type of gift that only a blessed few have. i disagree. would you say that about service? that only a few are “blessed” with being able to serve? you might see that some are particularly good at it, or enjoy it more than others, but you wouldn’t call it a gift, would you? why do we call creativity a gift? (of course, it is a gift, in the sense that everything we have is a gift from God) but my point is you are not exempt. if your God is creative, so are you. perhaps you have not discovered how to do this, or are not yet comfortable, but we didn’t let that stop us from learning to pray did we? (well… actually i don’t pray very much, so maybe that’s a bad example).what do you think? is creativity a spiritual discipline which God intends for all of us to participate in, in order to enjoy Him, and this life, fully?