I've recently been introduced to a couple of teachers that I haven't ever spent much (if any) time listening to or reading books from. One of these teachers I shared a video from yesterday. Today I wanted to share a thought from N.T. Wright.
I was listening to him via youtube this morning and he said something that really made sense to me. He said that since the age of enlightenment we have put much less focus on the use of our right brain and so as a collective we have lost many of the benefits we get from the arts. (My own paraphrase) One of said benefits is a certain aspect of God that we speak of, but rarely actually consider as a trait to work on. The trait I am speaking of is creativity.
As a collective the church believes God created. As a collective we believe that we are created in God's image. Yet, many of us have ventured to say "I'm just not creative, that's not how God made me." What if God did make us all creative, we have just learned to stuff it down and limit ourselves based on what we know or THINK we know.
Let me give you a couple examples.
I grew up with Legos. I very much enjoy Legos to this day. I remember a time in my life, much like my kids are today, that when I played with Legos I would look for pieces to make what I thought looked like whatever it was in my mind I wanted to look like. I would build cars, boats, houses, you name it. The only thing I paid much attention to, is that pieces had to fit my idea of what it should look like. Color didn't matter; size didn't matter too much; shape mattered a little. As I got older, each of these things began to matter more. I could only build a wall if I could use all of the same color or if I could build it in layers. It could no longer be whatever block happened to work. My cars had to have 4 tires of the same size. Planes actually had to have wings. I lost part of my ability to be creative in my mind and began to focus on what I saw as reality.
As I have grown older, I have seen this in both my music and my photography. Both take creativity, but for me the more I learn about each, the more I become consumed with doing things the "right" way and what is technically correct rather than allowing creativity to expressed. I've been noting it for a long time now and can see how when I strive to get better at something I want to learn the technical aspects of it. While this is important, I easily transition into that frame of thinking and push the creativity asside.
When I think about how creative God is and how we are created in His image I have to believe that He created us to be creative beings. He wanted us to experience and participate in things that are more than what we can know or understand.
I wonder sometimes if that is part of the meaning behind satan being "the deceiver." He has used knowledge as a way to deceive us and cause us to stumble. I know that many of the times when I feel closest to God are those times when I am creating. Not creating out of technical skill, but creating out of inspiration. Could creativity be something that we have missed in our relationship with God? Could it be that we have been so focused on "knowing what God knows" that we forget to learn and see things the way God sees them.
God sees chaos and thinks, I can make something out of this. We see chaos and think, there is no way God can be in this. Maybe its time to allow ourselves to be creative and break away from the box that we have trapped ourselves in.