Video Reflection 5: On Creativity

1 Corinthians 12: 4-13

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

As I was thinking about what we needed in a time like this I started reflecting about the role I’ve tried to play as a leader of this community and what attributes I try to model as a leader, and although I’m not one who normally goes for catch phrases what I ended up with were my 5 c’s: Calm, Centered, Connected, Creativity and its cousin Curiousity. Apologies for the alliteration but I do try to remain calm in times of crisis, and I’ve walked through some in my times as a leader as an adult. I try to remain centered in the things that ground me, my faith, my love of scripture, the people I love. I try to remain connected with the people I am gifted to serve however I can to the best of my ability, while still taking times to rest and care for myself. But I want to focus on these last two today: Creativity and its cousin Curiosity.

I’ve had a fascination with creativity and curiosity for years and I’m thankful for some of the places it has led me in my life. I can talk about this for a long time, but some quick reflections today:

  • Some of us may be at the point where we are growing bored (or maybe we’ve been bored for days now). The good news is that this can be a place where curiosity and creativity can play. When we are constantly busy it is hard for us to get curious about something, to invest the time and resources it takes to be creative. Also crises can be a place where necessity forces us to consider new and creative ways of doing things.
  • Creativity is scary, vulnerable and full of terrifying firsts. It was terrifying when I started writing, when I started recording video (especially since I’m self-conscious about how I look in pictures and video), Elizabeth Gilbert gives a lot of reasons not to be creative, which I’ll read (if you want all the reasons see the video) but ultimately it is scary, scary, scary
  • Creativity looks different in different people. My medium is words, Adam has a great eye for photography. Maybe you organize things or paint or skate or dance, or who knows what the gift God’s spirit has placed within you. Jack Gilbert, the poet reportedly once told a student in one of his classes, “Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden within you are hoping you will say yes.”Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic, 7
  • “I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and ours: The universe buried strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.” Big Magic, 8

I’m going to close today with a poem that I wrote years ago, but that still is one of my favorites of these gifts I never knew was buried inside me, it’s a poem called Creative Words (click on the title to link to the poem)


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