Sunday, March 23, 2008
Creativity (super creative title, hu?)
The kids and I were lying on the trampoline earlier tonight playing the cloud game. You know, where you look at the clouds and say what you see.
(You meteorologists are thinking something totally different than the rest of us.)
Jax immediately said he saw a battle, and a giant alligator.
The rest of them spouted something off as well.
What did I see? I didn't know...I kept looking...and looking...why didn't I see anything?
It took me a while, but I saw something as well. I saw an eye.
Kids are so creative! They're born with creativity just waiting to bust out!
This morning, we had the opportunity to go to the church my brother Chris pastors, and my brother Robbie leads worship there. We saw Chris' oldest, Hanna, be baptized and take her first communion. It was special and wonderful.
Ecclesia is in the heart of Houston on Taft Street. It is a hub of creativity.
Art lines the wall. Creativity is seeping through the rustic, cracked interior of the building.
At Ecclesia, they actually have a table to paint at during worship. They see art as a form of worship. And why not? Now granted, that wouldn't fly at every church. It fits at Ecclesia. It would fit at some churches in our conservative military university town almost as well as Democrats. But my kids were all over it.
They were in Easter clothes, which weren't new or fancy, but the looked cute. Emma was even wearing a little white sweater over her dress. When they asked to paint and I voted yes, Rusty looked at me like "what?" However, he got on board quickly because Rusty is an artist at heart and one of the most creative people I know. Pretty remarkable since he's also a science nerd too.
We explained to them that it was a form and act of worship to do so. Emma was on it! She painted passionately for a good part of the service. The boys dabbled in it as well. Rusty and I both wanted them to have the unique experience of worship through art like this, despite the mess. Now today, there were mostly minors seated at the painting table, but I know that's not true all of the time, because amazing art lines the walls of the sanctuary. Art is highly valued in their community. Expressive and explosive paintings are everywhere, and many are painted by an artist in their church that we've known for years. (My brothers are lucky enough to have her art in their homes as well.)
I'm not proposing that we set up an art center at all of our churches. That works in Montrose, but not everywhere. But where is our creativity, grown-ups? Why do kids look at clouds and see a million things, and we have to study them?
Why do we overflow with creativity when we're young, and are deplete of it when we're grown?
Where does it go?
How are we allowing our creativity to be sucked out of us?
And what's it for? IT'S FOR GOD.
Every good gift He's given us is meant to bring Him glory, to make Him famous.
But our creative button is broke, so I'm learning that my kids know a lot better how to worship God than I do.
We think worship is an hour on Sunday morning, from 11-12. Or we think it's just the music segment of our service.
Where did we get that idea? Is God insulted that we have narrowed the concept of worship to that, or what?
Worship is a lifestyle. As our worship leader has recently reminded us, we are all worshipping something or someone all of the time. I'm afraid too much of the time, I am worshipping my own pleasure and convenience, and not God's greatness and glory.
My kids grasp this more easily.
When we dance, it can be worship. When we run, when we draw, when we learn, when we clean...it can all be in a spirit of worship.
If I tell my kids we are going to paint as a form of worship today, they're on it.
We're going to journal about our Bible verses, they're all for it.
They don't blink or look at me quizzically. They just do it, and they so often do it unto the Lord.
I'm afraid I am using my gifts and the remnant of creativity for my own purposes.
For those of us who love to teach little ones, we still long to be creative.
We teach Kindergarten just so we can read books, write books, color, paint, and mold things out of Play-Doh.
What would happen if we stirred up and revived from the dead all of our creative juices and poured them into worship and adoration of God?
I wonder what it would look like.
I'm going to be working on that.
There are many creative desires I've had for years that I've allowed fear to contain.
I want to play the drums, I want to play the piano more, I want to make more cute bookmarks with my awesome colored pens (thanks Amanda!) and my super cool laminator (thanks Shelby!)
Even more importantly, I want to protect the creative inclinations in my children and teach them that every one of them is for the glory of God. It is not meant to be squashed and stamped out, suffocated by "maturity" and replaced with cool, new aloof grown-up attitudes. It makes me want to cry just thinking of my kids giving up all their creative endeavors in the name of growing up.
So everyone, grown-ups, break out your markers, instruments, dancin' shoes, pencils and paper, and get to work. You may have to sit there for a while before a creative idea hits you, but just like me and the clouds, it will come. And maybe the more we practice that, the easier and easier it will come.
I want to try. I'm going to watch my kids for ideas.
You watch yours, if you have them or are around them, just mimic them for a while. They don't need ANY help in being creative.