In 1973 I joined a speleological society. I had never been caving before. But it was the start of University and ‘Week One’ is about doing new things, accepting new challenges and starting new disciplines. In the days that followed, I did what I had never done before and saw what I had never seen before.
‘Week One’ is like that. It is a week of creativity. But the problem with creativity is that we tend to become familiar with the new, and so by week fifty two we have lost our sense of adventure. The key to maintaining creativity is to stay in ‘Week One’ and not drift into week fifty two.
Creativity is about doing new things, or old things in new ways.
Many think it is only for the talented few, the rule-breakers and the jazz singers. Others say that gifts are overrated and creativity is about discipline. But actually,
Creativity is a combination of perspiration and inspiration; it is about both skill and effort; talent and task.
The original ‘Week One’ in Genesis begins with God’s skill and ends with man’s work. The original ‘Week One’ can teach us some principles about creativity and how to be consistently creative.
1. Creativity is worship
Each one of us is made in the image of God to bring glory to God — this is our worship. Since only God can create something out of nothing we are actually makers not creators. Everything we make must glorify God in its excellence.
Tip 1: Work towards excellence (What is excellence?)
2. Creativity is endless
God started an eternal story of which we are a part. He is the source of all our stories and all our ideas; He has all the stories in the world. People with writer’s block should return to the beginning.
Tip 2: Reflect on the start of your story
3. Creativity is empowered
The Spirit of God hovered over His creation and His breath hovers over our creativity. If, as Ken Robinson suggests, “creativity is applied imagination” and God can do more than we can imagine (Eph 3:20), we need God’s help.
Tip 3: Pray for ideas
4. Creativity is Word-based
In ‘Week One’, creation and God’s Word went hand in hand. True creativity will reflect this.
Tip 4: Double up on your Bible reading
5. Creativity is ordered
When God created the world, He created order out of chaos. But it is not necessarily the order we would expect. He created light before the sun and placed evening before morning.
Tip 5: Learn lateral thinking
6. Creativity is creative
God created seed-bearing plants. He created a world that could make itself. He started a process that begets a process. Songwriters beget songwriters.
Tip 6: Encourage creative collaboration
7. Creativity is surprising
God made a giraffe.
Tip 7: Visit an art gallery or a zoo
8. Creativity is universal
God created male and female. They were both creative in their own way. Creativity is not limited to a personality type or a set of gifts. There is really no such thing as a ‘creative type’ or a ‘creative department’.
Tip 8: Be careful how you categorize yourself or others
9. Creativity is good
God said it was.
Tip 9: Be good – Good is a good word and goodness a good goal
10. Creativity is easy
God created humanity on day six. Their first day was day seven. Their first action was rest. They worked from a position of rest. Easy.
Tip 10: Find what you do and do it creatively
Each one of these ten characteristics of ‘Week One’ can enable us to be more creative. But remember creativity is about both God-given skill and hard work. We need to put on our creative hats and refuse to drift into week fifty two.