But Im Not Creative! (Part 1)
- Tuesday, March 13, 2001
We were visiting some close friends in Pennsylvania recently who are home schooling their five children. As usual, we were full of all sorts of ideas for them to make their home school more family-friendly and efficient. They were grateful for the ideas, but at one point the mom said to us, Im just not creative like you! At first, Laurie dismissed her comment as being silly, because, after all, she didnt consider herself to be creative either. But after thinking about the incident, she realized some things.
While it is true that she used to consider herself one of the least creative people she knew, in fact, she has become quite creative in the last few years almost too creative! (Our family is, after all, getting a little tired of the kitchen table being taken up by her latest craft project!)
Actually, we hear it all the time moms (especially) often lament that they are not nearly so creative in their home school as we are. The experience with our friend got us thinking about creativity, how important it is in the home school, how you get it, and what to do if you dont have it.
First of all, by creativity we mean the ability to do something new. This may involve physical creativity (having a baby) or mental creativity. Of course, God is the originator of creativity; He, by moral nature, is creative. When God chose to create mankind, He endowed us with the wonderful abilities to think and choose, and with those abilities we may also create. Our creativity is based on His. He created ex nihilo (out of nothing), but we are secondary creators. We take the stuff He created and make something new from it. Since we as Christians have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we have at our disposal a spring of creativity from which we may draw. We have the mind of Christ, the Bible says.
Since God Himself is creative, He means for us to be creative as well. Unfortunately for us, our creativity, like our muscle strength, is sometimes weakened for lack of use. We need to flex our creative muscles as it were to get them working. Though creativity takes practice, anyone can become creative. In fact, we would go so far as to say that creativity is part of Gods work for us on this earth.
Practically, you can learn to be creative. We recently heard a quote on the radio, the gist of which was that those people considered most creative are those that conceal their sources the best. This is actually true. Since we are not God, our creativity remains in the realm of rearranging and revamping the ideas of others using the stuff God made. Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun. So, it is perfectly acceptable to learn to be creative by imitating others.
The best place to start, of course, is to specifically, actively, and continually ask God to give you His ideas. Then, as you go through life, look for opportunities to be inspired through reading, listening and watching others, and learning to diagnose a need that you can respond to. We have found that learning to be creative is easier when you are searching for a solution to a particular problem.
Next week, we will share with you some ideas to help you exercise your long-dormants creative brain cells.
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