My two year old son Justice is really into cars and trucks lately. He can race his cars around the living room floor at what I am certain he imagines is lightening speed. "Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!"
Like all kids, his imagination is so alive and active, I’m pretty sure he has enough energy to run a marathon. He's constantly exploring and seeking newness and adventure. And I love to watch him play and figure stuff out. He's curious and not afraid to try new things. Seeing his desire to learn causes me to want to show him more, teach him more, encourage him more and ultimately create space for him to flourish into the daring, dangerous, compassionate man I pray he becomes.
Because I know, and so do you, creativity and imagination tend to get shoved down and left behind as we grow up and go about our day-to-day lives with domestic duties, job responsibilities, family care, friendships and so on. We lose the excitement of imagination and the energy to dream of what could be. Some would argue creativity and imagination are for children. How many of us have thought of ourselves as a dollar short in the creativity bank? I certainly have!
In his third book release, titled, Create vs. Copy, author Ken Wytsma rekindles the creative flame we were all created with. In his own words, Ken says, "this book is meant to encourage you about the good news of your God-given creative capacity and how to harness it to take charge of your life, flourish, succeed, and find innovative and exciting ways to navigate the circumstances of life.”
Did you catch the part about "God-given creative capacity"? If we have God-given creative capacity, then we have God-given creative capacity! Having an active imagination and being creative isn't set aside for energetic toddlers and kids. Likewise, being creative isn't just for artists.
In the first half of the book, Wytsma draws attention to the creative attribute of God. He is creative. God creates. It’s who He is. And because God creates and He created us in His image, we too are creative. Wytsma puts it this way, "I like to say that when we're being creative, it's as if we're taking the image of God in us out for a walk."
You are creative! You were born a creator. "Creativity is a human trait." If you are the person who has said, "I don't have a creative bone in my body", I completely get it and this is good news for us!
We’re not just talking creating art here. Being creative runs so much deeper than paint strokes on canvass. Being creative means fully recognizing issues or problems around us, dreaming up ways to correct the issue and then innovating to change the issue. This is huge!
“Embracing creativity is about leaning into who we are as children of a creative God, whose Spirit and power move in our lives as we respond to Him and endeavor to make space for life.”
Which leads me to the second half of Create vs. Copy where Wystma provides practical application on practising creativity via awakening the child like creativity we all innately inherited from our Creator God.
It’s important to keep our imaginations active. Authors and story tellers such as C.S. Lewis understood this and ran with it.
“Imagination not only helps us see more clearly what is, but what should be.”
You don’t have to go far to see, to know and to experience the brokenness of the world. Things are clearly not what they should be.
As the redeemed and healed body of the Church, the followers of Jesus, we can live lives that reflect the what should be; even in the midst of the what is. Jesus taught us how to live in the what should be by how he treated people and by the illustrations he taught through the parable stories.
Our God-given creativity allows us to recognize the broken pieces of the universe and our imaginations help us dream up what should be. So we ought to create, to try new things, to move into some form of action in an attempt to take steps towards a dream made reality in our spheres of influence.
“Creativity makes space for life to flourish.”
“Our creativity most closely approximates God’s creativity when our ultimate purposes align with his.” I love this!
Prayer, wise counsel, and a supportive, encouraging network help us then innovate and bring our dreams into reality. Here is where change takes place and we step into the life God intended for us. And it’s never just for us. God uses each of us to share His love with those around us.
For 7 or so years now I’ve had an idea floating around my head. I’ve learned, collected a lot of information and feel compelled to write. Yet, it was only recently I began actually writing. I felt ill equipped and unprepared, yet the idea and the desire to just get it out and write has only grown. As my pastor told me, “Carrie, this is either your thing, or it’s the thing you have to do to get to your thing.” So I’m writing more. Guys, I’m being creative! I’m intentionally creating space to write. I’m blocking out chunks of time to write. I’m just going for it. I also have a few trusted friends helping with it and a lot of pray around it.
And I have no idea what or how what I’m writing may be used. But that’s the exciting part. The unknown. With God, nothing is impossible! So my friends, create, create, create! It’s you are. It’s what you were made for! Create space for others to flourish and you will too.
Create vs. Copy releases tomorrow (March 1). Grab your copy today on Amazon. My hope for you is that you flourish into all of who God created you to be! Check out the book trailer too.