Stifled Creativity

Ah yes it’s been a hot minute hasn’t it?

I just stepped into the second quarter of my Chronological School of Biblical studies, and wow has it been a whirlwind. I’ve been learning so so much, and I treasure what I am doing. These next three months will mainly revolve around the Old Testament prophets (most of them I have’t read before), and we will finish up the quarter with the first three gospels; Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

However, amongst the 24/7 studies last semester, I found myself lacking in creativity. As much as I love studying God’s word, I also love to draw, make music, and write. My time management skills clearly need work. Even over the break, I’d sit down with the intention of creating something, but would just end up binge watching the Office; because the roller coaster of Israel’s history is not something that’s easy to digest. From creation, to sin, to covenant, to exodus,¬† to sin, to covenant, to redemption, to sin, to covenant, to judges, to bad and good kings, it’s not hard to have your heart riled up with frustration towards Israel but also adoration towards the Lord because he put up with it for thousands of years.

The Old Testament prophets are not necessarily easy to read either. Whether there was redemption and salvation or not, the doom and destruction of the kingdom of Israel was inevitable, and it’s hard to swallow. It’s as if I were watching a tragic movie on repeat. Perhaps Les Miserables would be a good example: you watch for 2 hours and cry your eyes out and the redemptive part doesn’t occur until the last 20 minutes of the movie. BUT, the thing that has struck me most about the old Testament, is God’s consistency in character. I used to have a hard time with the contrast of God’s actions to that in the New Testament. I wish I could explain it all to you in a paragraph but all I have time for right now is to encourage you to study it yourself. Find the golden nuggets.

NOW, all of this learning hasn’t left me much time for anything else. (Of course I knew that when I signed up for this school) For some reason I thought I’d be able to manage to not create, or take time for anything else but wow is it important for your own mental health! There have been days where I can’t focus on anything and my work suffers and thus, I take an hour out of my day to write something sappy, get my hands onto a guitar, or make a little doodle, and voil√† I can continue on reading about Israel’s doom. My creative outlet’s almost seem vital to my survival unless I purposefully want to sabotage my life. Though, sometimes it’s hard to find inspiration given that I sit inside 7 days a week, but it’s all a matter of patience, persistence, and practice.

All in all, the point here is that sometimes it’s ok to take a breather and do something you love in order to bring value to what you are doing, and to be able to do it whole heartedly with no resentment. In order to read the Bible well, I also need to nurture the gifts that God gave me.

 

A snap Bethan, one of my staff, captured on our excursion to Othello
a quick self portrait I did to prove my exhaustion