Why Discipleship Needs Creativity

I am a sucker for the “slow down and savor” stream of books. Rest, Sabbath, enjoying good food and warm places are the topics that will ignite my Amazon “1-Click” reflex like nothing else. The reason being is that I, like many others, see the stream of busyness and how it impacts my life as well as the shrapnel left behind when rest and Sabbath are left out of the equation. 

But how do rest and Sabbath - not to mention the other life-giving disciplines of discipleship - happen in a world order that is radically geared against their existence?
Enter what I’d like to call “purposed creativity”
Creative-WorkIt seems that the highest calling in contemporary life and work is to creativity, and there are a fair amount of voices speaking into the fact that creativity takes time and habit and space in order to flourish. New tools, philosophies, even office layouts support the idea that the gem - the gold at the end of the rainbow - is that stroke of creative genius that creates a Facebook, Google, Airbnb, etc. out of thin air. Voices like Scott Belsky and the ever-intriguing blog 99U constantly fill my inbox with delicious tidbits about how to work if you’re not a type-A industrial machine.
Time. Habit, Space. Hmm, sounds like another type of life I know...
Creativity resonates with me because, very simply, it is the missing gem in most of our spirituality and spiritual lives. Creativity in the process of transformation into Christlikeness has been neglected, unconsidered, or even feared throughout history moving most of us into a narrow funnel of read, memorize, pray, serve, repeat for the whole of our lives. While there’s nothing wrong with this (frankly it is the best of launching pads into the life of discipleship) it is not an approach that is built to stand the long haul.
Suffering comes. Life seasons change. We become too accustomed to the taste.
Then suddenly the funnel no longer works for us and therefore we have two choices:
a) hate ourselves for being so totally depraved
b) keep doing what we’re doing because it’s right and fixate on the vehicle and not the destination
There is revolutionary beauty in the gift Jesus gave us - discipleship, being with Him learning to be like Him, that includes the brain in our skull and the mind it hosts which is dripping with it’s Creator’s playful sensibility.
Our creative mind can be distorted, as when we imagine worst-case scenarios and live into them or we create elaborate and powerfully realistic sexual fantasies, but it can also be harnessed and submitted to the creative work our Father has for us.
The creative work of becoming like Jesus in a social and political order that both longs for and rejects that reality.
How often do you dream - brainstorm about how you can move your life into a place where it is being shaped to become like Jesus?
How much creativity do you apply to making space and time for God to fill your minds with dreams about how good it could be to live outside of the government of compulsion, satisfying momentary needs with long term consequences?
How often do we dream big dreams about living without anger, contempt, lust, jealousy, comparison, bitterness, cycles of vengeance, etc.?
The question I’m assuming is that we actually see those things as part of our lives that need to go by the wayside, which may or may not be true, but once we’ve settled that question is when the God-who-speaks-and-it-is starts flicking the red hot sparks of His Spirit into our often bland, vanilla souls and we see minor skirmishes of peace break out throughout our lives.
Make time today and get a blank sheet of paper or a blank digital document, change the font and the color or grab a crayon, and begin drawing and dreaming about how the Creative Creator of Creativity might change what you see as base and boring into something brilliant and beautiful as you find new ideas and insights into becoming like His Son.