When I woke this morning, I began to think about the things that have been weighing on my mind. Slowly I walk to the kitchen to make coffee; the family has already gone to work and school and I am wondering what today has in store for me.
Do I have time to create today? I resist the desire, then… I ask.
What does taking time to create do in my life?
The power of creative thinking is stirred but there is something more that happens.
As a Christian, when I create I usually try to make sense of my world, listen to God’s voice, meditate on his word, pray, ponder, consider….
This isn’t a bad thing to do.
So in some ways creativity for the Christian is a “spiritual discipline.”
Creativity a Spiritual Discipline?
Spiritual disciplines are those tasks and habits that help spur the follower of Jesus to a deeper relationship. We pray. We take time to read the bible and consider its application. We spend time trying to memorize verses of scripture that would be helpful.
These spiritual disciplines are like the pencil with sheet music, the piano and the practice room, the point where I listen and put something down.
I remember my time at Furman where, in the midst of hours of study and practice, I would take an empty page and put melodies and words down. No, these moments were not profound in the art that was created as much as profound in the heart work that was done.
Why bother creating today? Why bother slowing down and putting pen to paper? Why bother typing thoughts down in a blog post? Why pray and open the word? Because God is here! Because He wants to communicate to me and I need to communicate to Him.
Experiencing God’s presence by doing the work.
The ability to experience His presence as I create flows directly from my prayer, my worship, my time meditating in His word. There is a connection between writing a song and spiritual disciplines. Both require the tools, habits, time, commitment and perseverance to see fruit. Prayer that quickly passes without listening is like strumming a few chords only to put the guitar back down on the way out the door.
I don’t get as much out of time in God’s word by merely reading the daily passages in my YouVersion Bible app. Getting satisfaction from not missing a day! I want to be able to walk away from my creative disciplines with the sense that I have done good work with God.
A little taste makes me hunger.
When I am done with my creative time I want to have experienced a glimpse of my purpose. I want to feel the hunger to continue, just as when I finish my “quiet time” with Jesus, and leave wishing I had time for more.
Creativity, just like spiritual disciplines, can be a place to see God at work.
Here are a few creative ideas that have helped stir both my desire for God and my creativity.
1. Consider opening your Bible and your creative instrument at the same time.
As a musician it is very easy for me to see how God’s words connect to music. However, I also benefit from playing music as I read, which creates mood and tone. Can this happen as you do your art? Draw, Paint, Sculpt, Dance, Write a story. How could God’s word impact you today?
2. Don’t force it. Creativity for the Christian isn’t just making Christiany Art that merely parrots a Bible verse. Don’t force it. It’s ok to “play the music” without any words!
3. Read stories, biographies about other followers of Christ, use a prayer book, or devotion type book to get ideas flowing.
4. Take a walk.
Why create a little each day? It might just spur on your spiritual life too!
Editors Note: This article originally posted at Atlanta Arts Network