The Choice to be Creative

Posted: December 9, 2014 in books, church art ministry resources
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My creative arts group at church is finishing up our book study on Erwin McManus’ The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art over the next two weeks. This morning as I was reviewing tonight’s chapter. I came upon a passage that really sums up the creative dilemma in many people.

Humanity is our most important canvas, our most important medium. As we strive to make our lives our most meaningful works of art, we quickly discover that our humanity is both our gift and our curse. The bigger we dream, the greater we risk. The more we want to create, the more we become aware of our limitations, our boundaries, and our deficiencies. It is easy, then, to look at other people’s lives and wonder why they do not have the same deficits. It is easy to convince ourselves that successful people are simply made from different material than we are. It’s easier to believe that creative people are simply different rather than to believe they are the same but choose to live differently.

In this chapter, McManus is exploring the importance of boundaries and limitations and how they are not blockades to creativity but rather essential to the process. I could not agree more strongly. Removing all limitations and it can actually, in itself, be limiting. Limitations and boundaries actually can force us to be MORE creative. As an example, in my own life and ministry, especially in the realm of speed painting, the boundary of limited time forces me to re-examine how I do things. How can I express this concept visually in 6-10 minutes? It’s a worthy for us all to consider, especially those who work in communication. The attention span of people is short and getting shorter. Limitations force us to be clear, concise and to the point.

Limitations are not liabilities, they are keys to greater creativity. Seeing them as such can only help our process.

What’s holding you back?
Could it be seen as a way of pushing you forward instead?


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