Seasons of Creativity
How is your new year going? Does it feel like a new season? It is Summer right now in Peru and we are abiding as a community - spending lots of time resting, spending time together socially, sorting through things and preparing for the new school year which starts in March here. Having spent time resting over Christmas I feel excited and expectant about what God is going to do this year. Right now I am in a season of preparation and deepening roots.
Back in September I was in a season where I felt totally overwhelmed with ideas. They kept coming and I had no idea what to do with them. I became frustrated in not being able to advance with seemingly any of them. God was speaking to me about seasons and I wrote this blogpost examining the different seasons of creativity I have identified in my own life. (These seasons apply to any form of problem-solving as well as the more traditional forms of creativity.) Perhaps you can identify with some of these seasons. Which one are you in currently?
A season of ideas can feel like a mixed blessing. The winds of inspiration feel light and exciting and yet so many seeds of ideas are planted in the ground that it feels impossible to tend to them all, although it feels like I should.
That burden is not mine to carry. I must write down the ideas, note where they are planted in the soft ground and leave them there. The time will come when they will develop, but when and how is not for me to say right now. Now is just the season to plant and plant and plant. To let creative inspiration flow and faithful recognize, record and acknowledge each idea-seed into the ground.
Frustration threathens to envelop me. The strong wind of ideas has passed and now I am left with seemingly nothing. I have not the time nor energy to invest in all these ideas right now. Exhausted, the only thing that comes easily is rest. Striving and pushing, I try to advance, but get nowhere quickly, if at all. I begin to wonder if I have lost the wave of ideas and creative impetus and if the ideas just need to die. I feel a failure for not having embraced the ideas fully, but I have no desire to do so right now, nor the energy.
From nowhere, a day of sunshine brings a tiny green shoot. Remembering suddenly the ideas I had, miraculously there is one spouting! No effort on my behalf, there is is all of a sudden: the doors have been opened and I can start moving forward. The resources are suddenly available: people arrive, finances arrive and the idea is happening! Now is the time to work faithfully and see the idea come to fruition! What I thought was gone and was powerless to make happen is now advancing seamlessly, miraculously, joyfully, beautifully. The ideas weren’t dead, they were being hardened and prepared for the spring. Without the cold of the winter, the roots of the idea would not have gone deep. Come spring, the bulb would not have thrived. There are a few bulbs that haven't sprouted too and that is okay too - maybe they were my dead bulbs ideas, or maybe they are late bloomers.
Now fully grown, the idea blooms bright petals of joy for all to see. Songs of thanksgiving are offered to the Creator for this wonder! Although others could recognize that I had planted the bulbs, no one would think for a moment that I made that flower, thank goodness! It is too miraculous, too spectacular and a hallmark of the Creator, not me. And then I realize that it was all His doing all along. The ideas I planted were a taking note of where His Spirit rejoiced and making a hole for His seed! I was so hopeless in waiting, thinking it was me who would make the idea happen, but He was truly faithful and brought all the bits together and made a stunning show of His glory. In His timing. In His way. And I got to be included, a witness, part of His team. But all the life came from Him.
Lord, thank you for the wind of your Spirit which brings so many ideas and new life. May I be faithful not only in planting, but also in hope, waiting for you to fulfill your promises. Thank you for including me in your kingdom work. To You be the glory.
What season are you in right now? Let me know in the comments!
Want to take a season to embrace creativity with the Holy Spirit? This is a book for those who want to journey slowly and intentionally in their creative pursuits, whilst seeing their heart transformed:
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