Designed to Be Creative | July 16th, 2018
Do you have a favorite color? We all seem to have personal reactions to different colors as they stimulate our brains in very specific ways.
My favorite has been orange for as long as I can remember. It brightens my mood whenever I see it. Orange is an energetic and fun color which I love to wear, especially during the summer months.
I recently spotted these flip flops with bright orange straps while I was doing a little summer shoe shopping and could not resist taking them home with me!
The Deeper Meaning of Orange
While tangerines, oranges, clementines, and sweet potatoes are all naturally orange, they represent something deeper. As excellent sources of vitamin C, we have come to associate these plant-based foods and the color orange with life and energy.
Psychologically, orange combines the energy of red and the cheerfulness of yellow. Not surprisingly, orange is associated with creativity – the act of using your imagination to come up with new ideas and turning them into reality. I know that when I am able to use my creativity, I have a high amount of energy flowing through me and a definite sense of cheerfulness as I am getting to do what I enjoy.
One of the ways I use my creativity is in hunting for old, vintage costume jewelry and repurposing it into something new and trendy for today. If I happen to come across a vintage piece of jewelry that is orange, it usually comes home with me, just like those flip flops!
Here is a fiery orange Judy Lee clip-on earring from the 1960s that I repurposed into a ring. Being my favorite color, I tend to wear it quite often…
Home improvement retail giant The Home Depot has been nicknamed “Big Orange” because of the enormous orange sign displayed in the parking lot of their stores. They inspire creativity even with young children, providing free Kids Workshops every month across the country.
Kids get a free project kit for the workshop, a certificate of achievement and pin for a job well done, and a kid-sized orange apron with the words: Build. Learn. Create.
The Dominant Brain Theory
Perhaps you do not consider yourself a creative person. Up until just recently, I did not think everyone could possibly have the gift of creativity. I viewed people as either left-brain or right-brain dominant.
The theory is that left-brain dominant people are those who think in a way that is analytical, linear, and methodical. Those who are more artistic and imaginative with a less organized way of thinking are right-brain dominant.
A team of neuroscientists tested the theory that people have a dominant brain. In 2013, they found after a two-year analysis that the magnetic resonance imaging of 1011 people showed there was no proof of this theory. Although the two sides of the brain function differently, they are always working together. No matter how we think, we are all wired to create.
The Purpose for Our Creativity
God made us in His image. As the King of creativity, the One who made the heavens and the earth out of nothing, He designed each of us to be creative just like Him.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
Why is it so important to God that every one of us has the gift of creativity?
People have not been put on this planet to live exclusively for themselves. God has a purpose for us to represent Him in a special, unique way. When we creatively use our gifts, it brings Him glory, especially when we are using them to bless others.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
I remember on the day of my wedding feeling very blessed by the creativity of my girlfriend Carol Ann whom I met many years ago in kindergarten. My faithful friend arrived in Dallas all the way from Oregon, ready to help any way she could.
God gave her the gift of delegating and she also had a creative eye for arranging food in a beautiful, appealing way. It was not long before she had my friends and family all working together in the kitchen in a very organized fashion to have the food ready for the reception immediately following my wedding ceremony.
It was a huge job but she seemed to pull it off with ease. Through her creativity, she made everything look as if it were professionally catered. What a gift she was to me that day!
Made to Create
It’s easy to sit back and do nothing with our creative juices but it is up to us to discover them and then use them! I have a sign I purposely hung on the wall above my desk to remind me to use the energy God gave me to find new ways to create for His glory.
I do this mainly through my writing and making jewelry but also through my vocation as a fitness trainer / instructor, continually thinking up new, creative exercises for my clients and classes.
Creativity is definitely hard work. It requires perseverance and commitment. Yes, it is much easier to be lazy and not create anything at all – to simply be a consumer of other people’s creations. But God did not make us to sit around and do nothing. That would surely suffocate our God-given creative gifts!
Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Romans 12:11
John Piper wrote about this in his book Don’t Waste Your Life:
“God has not created us to be idle. Therefore, those who abandon creative productivity lose the joy of God-dependent, world-shaping, God-reflecting purposeful work.”
There is great joy in using your creativity to produce your ideas into reality. God has blessed you with a creative ability to reflect His image and bring Him glory. And in turn, to bless others around you by not wasting or hoarding your gifts. When you use what He has given you, it greatly pleases God.
You have gifts that no one else has. Even with 7.8 billion people in this world, your gifts and creativity are unique to you. God has made plenty of people on the planet who need your creative gifts. And you need theirs.
What Can Keep You from Using Your Creativity?
Perhaps you are afraid your ideas will fail. Trial and error is a creativity essential. Dr. Dean Keith Simonton, a Professor of Psychology at UC Davis who studies creativity, found that the more ideas creators come up with, the greater their chances of producing an eventual masterpiece.
Thomas Edison, described as America’s greatest inventor, produced over 1000 patents including the phonograph, motion picture camera, and the electric light bulb. Edison learned much from many of his failed experiments. He admitted, “I make more mistakes than anyone else I know, and sooner or later, I patent most of them.”
When Edison died in 1931, he left 3,500 notebooks behind which contained all of the details of his many ideas and thoughts. He kept his creative juices flowing constantly!
Lack of Desire
Maybe you have no motivation to be creative. It takes energy, determination, and perseverance to challenge yourself to think creatively. You may simply lack the desire. It is definitely a conscious choice you make to use it or lose it.
Regular practice of using your creative imagination is important if you want to keep it. One study of 350 children found that kids’ natural tendency to daydream and wonder declines sharply around the fourth grade. By the time you are an adult, you become quite constrained by your thought patterns, comfortable in your thought techniques that require little effort or imagination.
God made you to thrive when you use your creativity. If you never use it, how can you possibly live life to the fullest in the way God intended? If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you will want to please Him in all you do, including using, not stifling, your creativity through the gifts He has given you to bless others for His glory.
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” – Dr. Seuss
Perhaps your life is so crazy busy that you cannot imagine taking time out of your ultra-packed schedule to think creatively. The good news is that inspiration is all around you in nature. Such a generous gift from your Creator!
Creative thinking can happen naturally if you take time here and there throughout the day to just let your mind wander without any external noise…no phone, music, or people talking to you. Just a little alone time in the quiet of nature where you have the freedom to let your imagination and creativity run wild.
It has been said that some of the most creative people work for Apple. They regularly set aside time each day to brainstorm and allow their minds to imagine the seemingly impossible. It is absolutely necessary to take time out of your busy, hectic life to be able to think creatively.
I now understand why I have always been so drawn to the color orange. Using my creativity keeps life fun and interesting and gives me a reason to jump out of bed in the morning with renewed energy.
Every day is an exciting opportunity to see how God can use your gifts through the creative ideas He gives you. Put aside your fear, get motivated, and find some time in your busy schedule to be creative…the way you were designed to be by the One who’s imagination is limitless!
Sparkler #1: Prayer
If it has been a long time since you have used your creativity, ask God for His help with conquering your fears, boosting your motivation, and making the time for being creative.
Sparkler #2: Action
Take some time out of your day to be in nature without the noise of the world. Think about your gifts and how you can use them in new ways. Allow your imagination and creativity to be free!
Sparkler #3: Challenge
If you struggle with being creative with your gifts, keep your eyes and ears open to new opportunities where you can use them to bless others and see where God leads you with your creativity.
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