Creativity is really important to me. I like to consider myself a unique individual, and yet I know all too well that in a lot of ways, I’m still a part of the identity crisis of “Everyman,” the traditional, mundane, and sometimes boring reality of every day life for every day people. We are all different and yet the same, and there is beauty in that. One of the ways that this beauty is shared is through expressions of creativity. When people look at art, read books, watch movies, or even play video games, they enter into worlds and realities created by minds just like theirs. For what purpose though?
For me creativity is an expression of the identity that we receive from God. We are made in the image of God and one of the strongest images of God is as The Creator, so how can we not reflect this in our own lives? We are able to think and create as no other can do on this earth. We are not only able to dream up new worlds, realities, and ideas, but we are also capable of sharing the experience with others through various mediums including art, literature, and film among others. Our individual perspectives can be deeply expressed on a collective scale that could not expressed otherwise. Storytelling is a great example for this. It’s amazing how a story can help a person understand a new or different perspective than their own.
I’m so overjoyed by the nature of storytelling that is embedded in scripture, and yet I feel as if some people today overlook this part of scripture. To me, there is no denying the narrative nature of scripture. When people argue over the literalness (among many other issues) of the text (especially Genesis), they can miss out on the beauty of a group of people so deeply touched by God that they try to preserve and understand their relationship and history with God in a way that is deeply memorable to all aspects of their life. Don’t misunderstand me, there is a lot of truth (as well as The Truth) in scripture, but sometimes people get so caught up in the arguments over details, they stop listening to what God is saying through the Word. The Book of Psalms is another great expression of human creativity trying to understand the heart of God. There are so many depths of human emotion and understanding and yet it all points and reflects toward God.
The narrative of scripture does not end in scripture though. In a way, we participate in the creation of the world as we continue to express new ideas that can dramatically change the way we understand the world that God has created. Through creativity, we not only create new expressions, we are able to transform old expressions into something new. How often has the world changed because someone saw new potential out of something? In this as well, there is no limit to our creativity. There are always so many different ways that people can individually express themselves and their ideas. For people who say they are not creative, I think it’s just a matter of their own awareness of creativity; they just might simply not realize their own creativity because they do not realize that is what they are expressing.
Unfortunately, I think we live in a world that seems more concerned with consumption than creativity. When we become too occupied by consuming and forget to participate in the world with our own creativity, a path of destruction seems to follow. When creativity becomes a replacement for reality, instead of perhaps an augment, we end up with escapism. Escapism is a misuse of our creativity to run away from the problems of reality instead of working through them. In this way, creativity becomes tainted because it can separate us from God and the world He has created. I do believe that we can come up with new ways to creatively mediate the struggles of the world, but in this we do not completely separate from what is true. Escapism is one-sided, it is purely about the consuming. Within expressions of creativity, we must be able to not only take in other’s creativity, but must respond in kind with our own; it’s a communication with the larger world. There is personal growth that can occur when we are able to see expressions of creativity and be able to express our own creativity.
And all of this to really say, I’m trying to be more expressive about my own creativity. I have gone through seasons of my life where I felt the need to be creative and expressive and yet do not always follow through on these desires. I’m hoping this blog will be an outlet for my own creativity. I like to write; I used to write poetry and sometimes still do. If you would like to take a look at some of my older poetry, there’s a link at the top of the screen, next to my social media links. When I write new stuff, I’ll probably post it here or at least a link to it. All of the photos you see here on my blog are my own photos and I hope to take many more. And finally, my journey will be its own creative expression as I share it with you. Until next time…