Two things I love: Adventure and creativity.
Adventure is exciting. It’s remarkable. Most of the time, it involves undertaking a new experience. I LOVE THAT! I love doing things I’ve never done before…going places I’ve never been before…tasting things I’ve never tasted before (most of the time). It’s an experience.
To me, creativity is an adventure — done well, the two go hand-in-hand. When I was a young mom, it took me a while but I figured out that doing something creative everyday energizes my spirit. What a relief it was to discover that doing something creative could mean anything from going to check out a new plaything at a nearby park, or endeavoring to learn oil-painting for the first time. Just as my child eagerly asks me, “What are we going to do today, Mama?,” I can enjoy the same privilege with my Heavenly Father. This is the basis of our intimate relationship.
In terms of spiritual growth, the creative adventure means asking the everyday question: “What do you want to do with me today, Lord?” His answers encompass everything from housework to relationships; helping others to what to watch on TV; loving my neighbor to greening the planet. Without asking and then making space in my day to wait for the answer, the journey can’t even begin.
You can tell by now, I believe God answers the question. Not that it doesn’t take practice to learn how to recognize His voice, but all through the Bible He spoke: Moses, Aaron, Abraham, Gideon, David, Jesus, Paul, John and others all give eye- (or should I say ear-) witness accounts. His response might mean my time with Him is spent journaling, over coffee and heart-level conversation with a friend, tutoring an underprivileged kid, or an exposition of hermeneutics in my spare time (those of you who know me can laugh now at that last one). Whatever His answer, it is life. It is energizing. Matthew 11:30 says: “My yoke is easy, my burden is light.” That I can step into.
This is the stuff of those daily walks God took with Adam and Eve in the Garden. I find it hard to imagine they took the same path each day, had the same conversations over-and-over. No, I believe everyday was an adventurous, intimate bushwhacking of relationship and creation.
Doing something creative is empowering. Living in a creative place means taking on whatever is in front of me. Anything…as long as it is a response to the Creative Impulse within. Again, on one level that impulse signals my bent for adventure. More than that, properly discerned this internal stirring signals the Holy Spirit wants to express himself through me uniquely each day. If you follow Christ, His Spirit leads and guides you(Isaiah 30:21). Nice to know someone’s got a map.
Aristotle described art as “our capacity to make.” God calls each of us to use our capacity as His art. That is something in the heart of my being that cannot be imitated — the ultimate creative opportunity. Should I choose to listen each day, God is giving me opportunity for creative adventure. For the fulfillment that makes life worth living. The fulfillment that comes as a result of time with, and response to, the ultimate Creative Genius. Moment-by-moment choices lead to the masterpiece.
Another interesting thing about adventure and creativity: Both always involve 1) some aspect of the unknown, and 2) a response. We decide to enter in. And with that, there is some risk. But we are equipped for that to which we’re called — we each have a briefcase, a back pack, a paintbox, a diaper bag — something full of gifts that He has given us for the marvelous quest. If we leave our gifts behind, instead tagging along on someone else’s venture, we miss the opportunity for the fantastic thrill that meets us when we ask for direction and set foot on the trail mapped out specifically for us. But isn’t that the crux of faith? Trusting the compass of the Adventurer Within.
Want an adventure? Ask the question today. Create whatever space necessary to wait for the answer. Then, do it.