A friend recently asked me what my quiet time looked like. And while the response she was looking for might have involved devotional recommendations and instrumental hymn playlists, my first thought was about the two notebooks I keep with me.
One is for writing down prayers, verses, song lyrics, revelations and the like. The second notebook on the other hand is for the sole purpose of writing down all the 10 billion other random things that pop into my head during my quiet time. What should I make for dinner tonight? Oh, I forgot to text her back. What time is sunset? I'm definitely going to make pancakes.
It was really frustrating to some degree. Here I was trying to spend uninterrupted time with the Lord, and yet, my own flesh kept getting distracted by blog post ideas, restaurant recommendations, and impending to-do lists! I'd come up with more ideas and tasks in that 45 minute time span than I would the rest of the day.
At first I felt guilty for getting distracted. I resorted to the second notebook option for a while, and then I read back through all the "extra ideas," and honestly, they weren't half bad. Some (especially the pancakes for dinner one) were actually pretty good.
But then again, it kind of makes sense. Why was I somehow surprised every time that I would come up with my most creative ideas...in the presence of not only my Creator, but also the greatest artist the world has ever known?
I'd take it a step further even and say that I often count on and put pressure on myself to be creative when in reality, all creativity comes from our Creator.
From His word we know that God cares about the safety of a sparrow. He’s handpicked the shades of pink for peony petals and decorates the dawn with dew. If He cares about all those minute things, in the scope of life, don't you think He cares about our creativity as well? I imagine that it brings Him joy to share just a tiny smidgen of His vast inspiration with us.
And after all, what better place to get inspiration and ideas than from our Heavenly Father, the God who created everything in existence?
(even if it means keeping two separate notebooks around)
Of course, there's a balance between focusing on the Lord and getting distracted by cookie recipes, but at the end of the day, I realized that Christ alone should be my ultimate source of creativity. When I'm tired and burned out and frankly, uninspired, whether it be about a paper, a relationship or a photoshoot, He is the only one that will suffice. Turning to social media, people or even worse, myself, can never satisfy or inspire the way Christ can.
Our creativity comes from Christ. And there is no better place to find creative inspiration than in the presence of our Creator.
I've learned to pray about photo shoots, blog posts, opportunities and whether to put blueberries or chocolate chips in my pancakes. Look around at the world God created—from the composition of flowers and the colors of a golden sunset, right down to the innate anatomy of our human frame—you’ll see the evidence for God's creativity everywhere. And while they may seem like insignificant details in the grand scheme of things, I think God would love to share His creativity with us in every area of our lives, even right down to our mundane to-do lists, if we would only ask.
I wish I could say with confidence that my devotional time is spent fully devoted to scripture, but that wouldn’t be realistic. I can say that in addition to providing for our spiritual and physical needs, Christ also provides creative inspiration for our everyday lives and artistic endeavors alike.
(And you never know when divine inspiration will strike, so keep that second notebook handy.)
Karissa // @karissanickish