One week from today is the pre-release launch of my new book, Think Like a Five Year Old. The book presents the story of creativity: what we had, how we lost it, and how to get it back again. The book tells a lot of stories but underneath it is girded by a theology of creativity. Over the next few weeks I am going to highlight some of the specific biblical passages that tell the story of God’s promise to us for a more creative life in Christ. Here’s the first one.
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Matthew 6:33The comedian Louis CK has gained a reputation for his stark, candid insights into the human condition. In one recent viral video, he describes to late night host Conan O’Brien the situation we find ourselves in as carriers of the constant distraction device known as the cell phone. He says,
Underneath everything in your life, theres that thing, that forever empty. That knowledge that it’s all for nothing and you’re alone. It’s down there. And sometimes when things clear away, you’re in your car, that you’re alone, here it comes and it starts to visit you. It’s this sadness, life is tremendously sad, being in it. That’s why we text and drive. I look around, and 100% of people driving are texting.
As Louis CK describes it, our stagnation is the reason we freely affix ourselves to the distraction devices in our pockets—to avoid looking at the empty hole within.
Can you relate?
Have you ever felt uncreative, unmotivated, stagnant, bored?
I’d venture that many of us have felt this way at some point or another.
Studies show the vast majority of people don’t like their work. Some keep pushing ahead, held together by the illusion of a distant destination. Some people check out completely.
The feeling of stagnation we feel is a consumer’s feeling, and the key to overcoming it is the call to create. But the call is more than just a general prescription to make something. Reclaiming wonder doesn’t just begin at any old keyboard or a box of supplies.
Our creative call is specific in its source and its aims.
The first step to reclaiming your wonder is to begin with the source.
Recapturing a life-giving creativity begins when we seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness. As the book says,
One way of thinking about the way we have distanced ourselves from creativity is this: we have lost sight of our creativity’s source. As creatures made in God’s image, we are designed by God to be like God, and this means we’re designed to create, not peripherally but as part of our fundamental nature. In other words, in the beginning, we are each given, as part of the warranty of being human, a harmonic calling, the melody of a set of good things to do with our lives. As an image or representation of God, when we create, we reflect the character of God and the glory of God. Our God-given creative passion is our unique art and the source of our fulfillment. Each of us is made to be God’s cocreator. And, as with any creative process, the work draws the workers together. When we create, we move closer to God; conversely, when we merely consume, we move further from God. To call someone, or yourself, uncreative is simply untrue. Our creativity problem is not that we don’t have this supernatural power within us. It’s that we have lost track of it. It’s latent.
If you’re feeling stagnant, or even miserable, caught by competing demands or lack of clarity, don’t focus on the problems. Focus instead on Christ. Seek him first.
What do you think it means to seek Christ first?
In coming weeks I’ll post more about why and how to do this.