By Justin Gray
Creativity is a gift from God - it is the imprint of His nature within us. God is the great Creator and has made us, His creation, in His image and likeness. So exercising our creativity is important to expressing our godlikeness and also beneficial for our spiritual growth, personal development, and the good of mankind. In fact, in the book of Genesis God wasted no time in giving man his first creative exercise - naming the animals.
"Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name." Genesis 2:19
As worshippers and writers, it's important that we take time to "name the animals". In doing so we release and refine what God is stirring in us creatively. Maya Angelou said it this way: "There's no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." Let's face it...life gets busy. And the busier we are the less intentional we are about cultivating our creativity. Here are a few practical exercises to help you grow as a worshipper and a writer:
Schedule time to explore the world around you.
"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." Psalm 19:1
It's important that we make time to appreciate God's creation. The world around us is filled with God's creative life. In a fast-paced culture, the art of slowing down is a lost skill. Build time into your schedule to unplug from busyness and engage the simplicity of nature and people.
Write one page, every day.
“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” - Larry King
Challenge yourself to write one page of something everyday. This is great for expressing yourself and developing your voice as a writer. I've noticed that my most talkative child is also the most articulate. He has said many goofy and non-sensical things, but the process of speaking has helped him to figure out how to do it better. Writing consistently will help you develop your communication skills; both your ideas and your articulation of them.
Read and journal.
Reading is like listening to other people talk on paper. Just like a baby learns to speak by listening to it's parents, so your writing will benefit from reading others work. Journaling on things that stand out to you in the writings of others will also aid you in refining your creative thought process and your writing skills.