Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Creativity - a Spiritual Issue

 “The Artist’s Way – a Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity” is a self-help book by Julia Cameron to inspire creative people of all types to a greater creativity. One of the chapters caught my attention because it jived with a sermon last Sunday in which the young minister quoted from a book he’d read. “You can never exaggerate God.”  Think on that for a moment, or many minutes, because there is no end to God.  Yet, how often we limit God.

“Creativity is a spiritual issue. Progress is made by leaps of faith.”

Cameron writes, “One of the chief barriers to accepting God’s generosity is our limited notion of what we are in fact able to accomplish. We may tune in to the voice of the creator within, hear a message—and then discount it as crazy or impossible. On the one hand, we take ourselves very seriously and don’t want to look like idiots pursuing some patently grandiose scheme. On the other hand, we don’t take ourselves—or God—seriously enough and so we define as grandiose many schemes that, with God’s help, may fall well within our grasp.”

God is greater than what we conceive and humanity’s need to put him in a box so we can understand him is a detriment to our spiritual growth and to our professional growth.

“Most of us never consider how powerful the creator really is. Instead we draw very limited amounts of the power available to us. We decide how powerful God is for us. We unconsciously set a limit on how much God can give us or help us. We are stingy with ourselves. And if we receive a gift beyond our imagining, we often send it back,” Cameron says.

Have you sent back a gift God gave you? Of course, we all have. The problem is we are often far beyond reversing that decision before we realize what a mistake we’ve made. Why do we do this?

1. We don’t want to overspend our spiritual abundance.
2. We consider God a capricious parent figure.
3. We try to dictate how and when the gift comes.

Each of these problems, and others, is rooted in a lack of faith in the goodness and greatness of God. Even saying we don’t doubt God we only doubt ourselves is an act of faithlessness. Who are we to argue with what God has declared good?

In Isaiah 7 God sends the prophet to encourage king Ahaz that those warring against him will not succeed. God will give any sign to Ahaz as proof. Ahaz says, “Oh no. I’ll not test God.”
Whether this was lack of faith or false humility a.k.a. pride, God was angered. God gave his own sign: the prophecy of the virgin birth which would happen long after Ahaz could see it. Ahaz missed God’s personal gift prepared especially for him in a situation that affected the entire nation. How often do we do the same?

“If we learn to think of receiving God’s good as being an act of worship—cooperating with God’s plan to manifest goodness in our lives—we can begin to let go of having to sabotage ourselves.”

Accepting God as our Source increases our confidence that God will provide. Our job is to listen for how. When we have done that, our creativity will blossom and so will our faith.

Mary Allen lives in Northern Indiana with her husband and two dogs. "Kernels of Hope" published by Majesty House, "Journey to Christmas" and "Ten Days to an Empty Tomb" are available from the author of on Kindle ebooks. "Full Spectrum Living" will be released soon. 

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