Yesterday I confessed that I sometimes get in these weird seasons where I feel restless. In part 1 of this short series I talked about how routine can help us break free from the chaos that makes us want to quit. Today I want to talk about creativity.
I need to be creative. Just like I crave routine, I crave opportunities to create. If all I’m doing is playing catch up, or running from one meeting to the next, meeting one deadline after another, then I get frustrated and go into a funk. I need space in my life to think. Literally. I like to have time just to dream, to draw, to build something, to write or to play music. My soul needs these times. In Genesis it tells us that God made us in His image. And when it tells us that, the only thing we know about God at that point is that He is a Creator. I believe you and I were made to create. Whether it’s a pie, a symphony, a bookstand, a novel, a photobook, or a company – we were made to start things from scratch. Whenever my life is too busy to create – I want to run away and open a bait shop.
So here’s how this works out in my life:
As a teaching pastor, every 7 days I have to deliver a fresh, entertaining, compelling, inspiring, life-giving message. Unfortunately, those don’t drop out of the sky. Trust me, I’ve prayed for them and it never happens. So in my world, my particular vocation requires me to be creative. So part of my routine (again, see the “ideal week” from yesterday) is that every Monday I carve out time to be creative as it comes to my message. I have found that I have to be crazy regimented in this. I don’t even open email on Monday until after lunch. I don’t go to the office like normal. I go to places that inspire me. I think there’s a belief out there that creativity is something that happens on its own and that routine or structure stifles creativity. I believe that couldn’t be further from the truth. I believe that creativity thrives in constraints. It thrives with a deadline, with a budget and with a schedule. So creativity gets a slot in my weekly routine.
Now, outside of what I do vocationally, I have found that I need to be creative in other ways too. So for me that means an outlet like writing, or woodworking, or music or working outside. Those are probably more spontaneous in nature in that I leave myself room week to week decide what I want to fill my time with. But whenever I find myself feeling restless, one of my checkpoints is this creative outlet. Am I having time to think and dream? Am I crafting something, or giving birth to a new idea? Is there anything that is inspiring me? If the answer is no, it’s time for some changes.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about Relationships and the impact they can have on our restlessness.