Focusing on what enriches my life also means deleting what is nonessential for me or wastes my time. All the possible clicks, links, images, likes, and favorites leave me stressed and distracted, thinking I am missing something by letting them just scroll away. Without an internal censor, I get lost in information oblivion. This pulls me down into the mundane and I lose my creative edge.
(Image via Flickr Creative Commons)
According to Austin Kleon, the author of Steal Like An Artist, “Creativity is Subtraction.”
His quote: “In this age of information abundance and overload, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what’s really important to them. Nothing is more paralyzing that the idea of limitless possibilities. The idea that you can do anything is absolutely terrifying.”
A great verse comes to mind:
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious––the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies (Philippians 4:8-9 Message)
The source of my creativity is Jesus Christ who made all things. All things hold together in Him. There is an endless flow of revelation available to me as I am seated with Christ in heavenly places. Revelation downloaded into my life is the creative spark that activates my faith to do, go, write, sing, paint, move, and live in Christ. It’s a matter of flowing in sync with Him for MY life, not anyone else’s. For me, creativity is about subtraction so that my focus on Christ is simple and clear. Get rid of what appears good to find what is excellent for my life. It differs for all of us.
In the creativity of Christ flowing through me, I engage in life wherever I go for He is in me. I open myself up to see Him, hear Him, and watch Him move in unique ways. Christian books, movies, and music – I love some of it but I often find much of it lacks true creative innovation. In a creative world, staying focused just on what is labeled ‘Christian’ is not enough. It never has been but religion tried to get me to think it was. The sacred can be found right in the midst of the secular when my eyes are open to see God move in the way that He wants to move. Don’t misunderstand me. I love the word of God, worship, prayer but those entire things can and do become very mundane unless energized in Holy Spirit.
Austin Kleon also says, “Keep all your passions in your life.” I failed at this one. When salvation in Christ became my life, I was studying fashion design. Colors, fabrics, designing, sketching – I was right in the midst of it all on a daily basis. I finished the program but when I finished I started to believe this passion for design and creativity was not holy enough, not sacred enough. So I walked away. I sold everything and set up my design room as an office. I then told everyone that God told me to do this so that I could now follow His path for my life. This sounded so spiritual. After all, at that time in the church, design was fleshy and worldly. I left my passion for religion. I didn’t have to separate myself. I only had to allow Him to flow through me in whatever He called me to do for Him. Jesus did not tell me to stop this creative flow. Religion put pressure on me with laws of constraint instead of freedom in grace. The creative spark in me died that day but God is restoring all those lost years and redeeming the time, NOW.
May we spiritually wake up to the revelation that Christ in us is the spark of creative genius that should flow through His body worldwide. Creativity is not something to be ignored as if it takes a second place to more worthy theological pursuits. Creativity flowing through Christ in His children and all then, the world sees the beauty of Jesus in and through our lives.
Be brave. Be courageous in Christ. Be creative.