Nashville is a city that both breeds and beckons to artists. Creatives that dabble in all forms of art find themselves walking among kindred spirits and connecting to those who share their passions. That’s one thing that makes Nashville so unique. For while it is a heavily sports oriented city I have found that the somewhat abrasive nature of your average sports fan base is tempered by the creative souls residing inside almost everyone who lives here. This balance of the two loves of Nashville, creativity and sportsmanship, encourages well rounded and diverse citizens.
It’s easy to begin thinking, “But I’m not creative. I don’t draw or paint or sing.” However if we take a closer at daily life we begin to see creativity in even the most mundane aspects. My husband and I recently bought a new couch which has required us to re-imagine the way we arrange our living room – this has required a lot of creativity on our part. When driving in Nashville traffic, notice the bumper stickers and decorative choices people make for their vehicles. Those are creative choices. Cooking, navigating downtown traffic, working out, singing in the shower – all of these things are aspects of creativity!
Most people forget that being creative is not equivalent to being talented. And being imaginative requires nothing more than brain power. I have a hard time believing someone when they tell me they’re not creative because I know their Creator. We are made in the image of God and that means sharing His attributes. Have you ever seen a platypus? Or a giraffe? Or an axolotl? Two of those three creatures can be found at the Nashville Zoo and once witnessed it’s impossible to deny the creativity that went into their design.
Tapping into that creative nature within requires stimulating the brain in new ways. I, for example, love doing crossword puzzles because they force me to think about things from new angles. Another method would be learn something new by taking a class or reading a book on a subject you’ve never studied. Likewise, driving through a different part of town, sitting somewhere new at church, or even changing places at the dinner table can all spark creativity by simply changing your perspective.
The important thing is to not let those brain cells lie dormant or become complacent with the idea that, “I’m just not creative.” Creativity is not just about songwriting or doing watercolors; it’s about problem solving and how we approach our relationship with others. This is especially important for the Body of Christ because we experience new obstacles to sharing the Gospel every day. God instilled His creativity within us so that we could create ways around those obstacles.
So the next time you are facing a problem, whether it be what to cook for dinner or how to approach your neighbor about the Grace of Christ, try empowering your creative side by mixing things up. Take a walk, call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, or simply look up. Looking up has a profound effect on my mood and perspective because I so often forget to do so. I’m always watching my feet, attempting not to trip, and ignore the other half of the world happening right above my head. All of these actions can help stimulate those neurons, forging new pathways, and leading to a creative solution.