What do you think of when you hear the word 'creative'? Ever since I was little, I've been encouraged by my mum and my family to be creative; to paint, draw, bake, play an instrument, sew, scrapbook, journal etc, and throughout school, art was always my favourite subject - I even carried it on through to university by studying Creative Expressive Therapies and specialising in art. When I think about it now, I suppose I just see creativity as being a part of my identity. The amazingly wonderful thing that I've learnt over the years though, is that creativity actually encapsulates so so much more than simply "being good at art." I meet so many people who often tell me that they aren't creative but if you look at what they do for a living, what their hobbies and interests are, how they function in their daily lives, often you can see that there are so many skills and talents that they are using which they might not have even thought of as being creative at all.
When we look out at the world around us, I'm sure everyone can admit that it's pretty darn beautiful - just think of all of the amazing different types of plants and flowers that there are, the numerous amounts of weird and wonderful animals and creatures, the seasons and how they magically change the colours, temperatures and nature of the planet four times a year. Now whoever concocted all of this must have had a creative flair, right? A few weeks ago at Alpha during the talk, a point was brought up about God being creative and how he created us in his image. So if we were created by a creative God, doesn't that mean that we were created to be creative too? In Genesis 1:26 God says "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth." Knowing this, you could argue that programmed into our very nature, is creativity and the ability to be creative.
I like to look at it as being kind of like a superpower. When I was in school, I thought that I was one of a rare few who possessed this superpower. I was good at art and not everyone else in the class was, so I thought that that meant being creative was my "thing," in the same way that I wasn't great at maths and other people were so that made maths their "thing". I now know though, that I was being quite naive in thinking that being creative translated as "being good at art". If you think about it, maths is actually creative too; it involves patterns, connections, problem solving - all things that require the brain to think outside of the box.
When I first met my boyfriend, Sam, he didn't think that he was a creative person. He was studying sport science and spent his free time playing basketball, video games and hanging out with friends. As we got to know each other more, I discovered that yes, all of these activities involve a certain degree of creativity but also that he's great at cooking, amazing at problem solving, has a good musical ear, and also has a keen eye for photography which he never knew he had (until I started making encouraging him to take my photos for my blog and instagram haha).
When I think about it, it's actually so wonderful that everyone has the power of creativity, whether they realise it or not. God has designed us to be creative beings, and within the realm of creativity we have been given different skillsets. To me, it seems like God has enabled us to express our creative thoughts and ideas in different ways so that, as it says in Genesis 1:26, we can work together as God's representatives to look after the earth. What do superheroes do with their superpowers? They use them for the good of mankind just as God wants us to use our creative talents for the good of others, so don't be afraid to share them. I suppose I wanted to write this blog post because it can sometimes be too easy to compare your skills and talents to those of other people. I know that I've been guilty of this in the past and maybe I'm actually just writing this today as a word of advice to myself in the future; but it's ok to be different to other people. I know that that's a lot easier said than done but it's true; just because I may not possess the same creative talent or skill as somebody else, it doesn't mean that I'm any less talented or skillful in general - I just have a different purpose, a different gifting from God and that's a good thing! If you think about it, the world wouldn't even be able to function with simply the artsy ones or the musical ones...we also need people who are great at communicating and leading, teaching and mentoring, cooking and serving etc etc. Honestly, the world would be pretty boring if everyone was good at the same thing anyway.
So where do your creative talents lie? Is it in being a good leader, problem solving, business management, baking, teaching, parenting, studying, writing, playing...think outside the box...you might be surprised by the creative power that you possess! - S xo