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I find it kind of ironic that I am so interested in the concept of boredom. As a kid I wasn’t really allowed to be bored. I’m not sure where I first heard it, but if I ever dared admit that I was bored, I would hear, “If you’re bored, you’re not being creative enough.” I have since used this line on numerous complaining kids as a schoolteacher and children’s minister. Such a response usually takes kids by surprise.

My first ever blog post was one on fascination– that it is something that we all desire, whether we feel that we are creative or not. In another post, I made the case that we are all creative and need to get over the mindset that some people just lack creativity. Some people just value creativity less than others, some prefer stuffing their creative impulses. Some use their creativity in ways that may not seem artsy, but they are just as creative and just as valid. Yet others still fear the creative power that they may harness.

In this post, my thesis is this: If we truly learned to direct our creative energies, the faculties of our imaginations, that perhaps we would truly become more sanctified and devoted worshippers of God.

Go with me for a minute here. The first commandment is that we shall have no other gods before us and the second is similar, that we shall not make any gods of stone or any other material to worship. In essence, God knows that the temptation is there to create our own gods. Because creativity is so central to who we are and so central to the image of God, when we refuse to worship God, we are compelled to use our creativity for evil. We cannot help but to be creative. So the ten commandments are a list of DO NOTs. Now in the New Testament era, Jesus decrees a much shorter list of TO DOs. We are now commanded to 1. Love the Lord with all that we are… And 2. Love our neighbors as ourselves. Love is a lot more open ended of a command than to “not make any graven image.” Open ended commands demand something of us. This is a open book essay test. Such tests demand creativity!

How many of us have lost touch with the Lord from time to time, simply because we got bored? How many of us have found other things more captivating from time to time, giving the Lord a back seat? The way we divorce our creative tendencies from our relationship with our Maker is just wrong thinking, and it keeps us from Him. I have heard it said, from people who can see into the heavenly realm, that even our own guardian angels appear to be bored when we are idle, when we are not engaging in something of value. How do people look when they are engaged? They use their bodies, they show emotion, they pour out expression by speaking, writing, painting, even seeing and hearing things differently.

Sometimes we treat God with such so-called “reverence” that we do not let him engage us. We are afraid to initiate our engagement with him out of fear we may do something sacrilegious. We need to start finding open doors for God to captivate us again. One of the most effective ways I can do this is to begin to create. I can read a Psalm and rewrite it in my own words. I can read some Old Testament story and write it from some other perspective. I can start singing something that is on my heart toward the Lord. It doesn’t have to be something that is going to be played on the radio. What matters is that it is played before my Lord. In ancient Jewish culture, dance was a regular act of worship for men and women. If you have never tried using your body in this way, I suggest you give it a try! When you give your entire body over to God, you can encounter him in an entirely new way.

I tend to use activities I enjoy to worship God, but I also want to stretch myself. The visual arts are one avenue I’d like to explore further, to stretch beyond the boundaries of my comfort zone so that God can show me yet another aspect of himself. Even if it doesn’t seem like “proper” worship, it can be worship to you. You’d be surprised at the different things people were “anointed” to do in the Bible. Short of killing ten thousand people with a jawbone, I’d say the sky’s the limit. 🙂

We can create upward– toward God in worship, but we can also create outward– toward others in love. Baking cookies for your neighbor, giving a prophetic word in the form of a gift, helping someone with a strategy for their business or ministry. These can all be ways to engage in the second open-ended commandment, loving our neighbors as ourselves.

If we do not engage our whole selves toward God, we will engage ourselves toward something else. And when we do that, we engage in idolatry. I am convinced that if we were forcibly stripped of all our little idols, that we would be so compelled to worship the Living God that we could hardly stand to keep our distance. Worship and a lifestyle of obedience would become our food day and night. We were created to need him. It’s not that we would necessarily need to stand in a church singing praise choruses all day long. But in an idol-free atmosphere, every activity would be infused with the awareness and new understanding of who God is. This is kind of worship is what will keep us satisfied for eternity.

You don’t think of yourself as an artist, so what? You are a creator nonetheless, made in the image of an amazingly creative God. Even the least creative people in the world can become creative geniuses when the creativity of God blows upon them. The beautiful thing is that they can unlock that creativity anywhere: at home, at work, even in the car.

After being invigorated in such a way as we creatively engage with God, pornography loses its appeal, pride seems a little further from our minds, worries and fears subside, and our relationships seem to come into clearer perspective. Do not allow yourself for one minute to get bored in your relationship with God. As we do in our natural romantic relationships, we have to fan the flame of our true First Love. Creativity can be a surprisingly delightful path to the intimacy you’ve been craving.

For more on creating with God I recommend Theresa Dedmon’s “Born to Create: Stepping into your Supernatural Destiny.”

So, how do you engage creatively with God?

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