I remember the day I made a great personal discovery. It was 1972, and we were living in Papua New Guinea. I was lying on the bed feeling dead — emotionally, physically, spiritually. And yet half an hour later I was completely free of those symptoms and flew around the house packing boxes and tending to all the details of the next move out to the village.
What had lifted the depression and changed my paralyzed form into an energetic organizer? This is what happened:
That day as I lay there I remembered talking with a pastor friend who said that he counseled people who were depressed to ask themselves, “What have I always wanted to do but have never done?”
While lying there that afternoon 20 years ago I decided to do something I’d always wanted to do — take a writer’s course. I got up, tore out an application for a Christian writer’s course from a magazine and mailed it in.
Just the expectation of this correspondence course set me free and released in me new energy which spilled over into even the mundane tasks of packing boxes and washing floors. I had hope!
Since then I have discovered that the Bible encourages the creativity of God’s people. Solomon asked God for wisdom, and God released him in the areas of art, music, architecture, plant and animal studies and worship. David wrote psalms and soothed the soul with his harp. God even raised up Lydia to resume her work of blessing others with her creative sewing.
I am aware that cross cultural workers are already some of the most creative women in the world. Yet I feel that perhaps some of you may feel shelved or lethargic as I once did. Or, you may be just too busy with pre-schoolers and language learning to think of taking up your hobby or taking a correspondence course.
You may be in an incubation period. Dr. George Bird, a free-lance writer and former professor of journalism at Syracuse university, once wrote that he went through a period of years when he could not write. Finally the Lord gave Dr. Bird a new vision of how He wanted to use his gift of writing. He was released again to write with fresh inspiration.
I hear someone saying, “But our Lord told us to lay down our lives in order to gain life.” I struggled with this paradox for years. Does the developing of my own creativity work against a total relinquishment of myself to God? Joyfully, no!
It could, if I only seek my own fulfillment. But if I wait on the Lord to show me how I can use this gift in His way, I can become His channel of creativity.
Remember the parable of the three men who were given talents? The one who buried his talent was punished. The two who used their talents were rewarded.
Whatever “your thing” is, don’t bury it. Develop it! And if you have, like me, already buried it, dig it up. It might just be the very spark that will light up every other area of your life!
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV.
by Lael Wilson
(Copyright: Lael Wilson)