“The secret to true joy is the triangle,” my friend Lisa said during one of our summer morning walks. “You have to think of your life as a balanced triangle, with God at the top. In one of the bottom corners is health, in the other is creativity.” You have to keep all of those corners functioning well.
Well, I immediately thought, my life IS balanced because I have God at the top, and health too, especially during the summer, when Lisa, Linda, and I walk every single day, with little exception. Until our kids’ swim practice is up for the season, and even then, we continue to meet as often as is possible, until our lives get too crazy in the fall, until the weather makes it impossible.
Until we come up with too many excuses.
My “summer friends”, as we call one another laughingly, keep me in check. At least during the summer. But I do try to walk indoors throughout the rest of the year. I do have that end of the triangle covered. Mostly.
Okay, so health and fitness is conversation for another day. Suffice it to say, I’m working on that corner.
What concerned me most when we had our first conversation about this triangle was the creativity part.
“I’m not creative,” I told my friends. I couldn’t draw or paint. I couldn’t sing, dance, or play an instrument. Well, anyway. I could knit, but it wasn’t my talent. I could bake, but it wasn’t my joy. I supposed I possessed some creative thinking skill, but that didn’t count.
Creating couldn't be passive. It was more than thinking, to my mind. It was doing.
The creative process Lisa was talking about was an outlet, therapy for the body, mind and soul. Lisa painted and had taught art classes. Linda made masterpieces of all kinds. She could build a house if she had a mind to do it. They were both so thoroughly capable of creating things.
Or was I?
I could write, my friends were quick to remind me. And writing was definitely creating! Yes, I could create!
Why was I feeling insufficient then, lacking affirmation?
The answer lies in the understanding of why we desire to create in the first place, why it feels right to do so.
Creating feels good to us because God created first.
We love because he first loved us, we laugh because he first laughed. And we create because it’s what he does, and what we do too, because it’s in our DNA.
Creating connects us with the One True Painter, Designer, Author, Composer, Builder, Musician, Photographer...It’s an opportunity to partner with our Creator!
And when it comes to WORDS used to create for good, oh, the supernatural joy found there!
So, it occurs to me, if God spoke creation into existence, anything beneficial that is created, and especially words to encourage others, words we will all one day be accountable for, is not something that appeals to the enemy of God.
If the Creator has an enemy, and he does, he would want to stop everything good created, with human life at the top of his list, am I right? Thus, it would stand to reason he’d seek to destroy ALL good creativity. Creatively, with deception.
People, we are being creatively deceived!
No wonder we compare ourselves to others.
No wonder we are so very distracted.
No wonder we feel so incapable. So unworthy.
But we were born to create. Creating is our destiny!
Resist handing over your desire to create. Fight against constant interruption and take one step at a time. Stand your creative right ground. Be convinced of your ability and don’t get discouraged!
Understand your enemy, pray for back up, and then paint the world in words, digits, notes, color, and most importantly, love.
And laugh, because God laughed first.