We are each called upon to express creativity from time to time, and yet sometimes it can feel as if we don’t have the needed ideas or inspiration to fulfill our task. In my own creative work – singing, songwriting, prose writing, public speaking, gardening, and interior decorating – I have found the most reliable and efficient way to let creativity flow is to turn to God.
An understanding of God as divine Mind and the Maker of man actually frees up the flow of our creative capacities because divine intelligence has unlimited and inexhaustible ideas. God is forever expressing His own nature in His creation, and as God’s creation, it is our whole function to express God. I’ve found that the more intentionally I commit my creative endeavors to expressing the attributes of God – in beauty, intelligence, justice, and so forth – the more readily my creative activities unfold. The Bible declares, “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established” (Proverbs 16:3).
In addition to the Bible passage above, I’ve found the following first line of a beloved hymn immensely helpful in my creative endeavors: “Praise now creative Mind” (William P. McKenzie, “Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 275). These words perfectly outline how to lean on God for the creativity we need – by praising Him as the creator and recognizing ourselves as His spiritual reflection. This has been effective for me in all kinds of creative projects – including raising a family, and even in the work of healing. Let me show you what I mean.
To me that first word, “praise,” is not only the motive, but the means for creative activity. In other words, I devote my work to honoring or praising the source of all creativity – God – and find this praise brings the desired results. As I start creative projects, it is tremendously helpful for me to pause a few moments and pray to realize that, as the spiritual image and likeness of God, I exist to praise God. It can be breathtaking how naturally the ideas flow and the work comes into focus, through this understanding of my relation to God.
In considering the next word of the passage, “now,” I have realized that divine Mind is as eternal as He is infinite; therefore, Mind is present now. I grasped this idea some years ago, when I was commissioned to compose a new melody for some existing lyrics. The melody needed to have a special quality of tenderness and mothering-love. The request came in while I was doing some Saturday morning errands, and even as I agreed to do the project, I paused a few moments right there in the farmers market to acknowledge the tangible spiritual fact of God’s mothering of us all. It was a moment of realization that divine Love’s attributes are ever-present and forever expressed – so writing a melody that expressed something of God’s mothering love was not an intellectual act of creation, but simply the demonstration, or proof, that the divine intelligence is always present expressing its ideas in us, and that includes now. As I made the 15-minute drive home, a melody came unbidden to thought. I hummed it several times. When I got home, I got out my guitar and found some chords that fit that melody. It turned out to be just what the client was looking for.
Considering the last part of the passage’s phrase, “creative Mind,” gave me an idea that has been fundamental to my creative work. It occurred to me that infinite Mind, like the principle of mathematics – which has an infinite number of ways to arrange its infinite numbers – has an infinite number of orderly ways to express its infinite attributes, and these are forever unfolding. Understanding this fact, and being receptive to Mind’s direction, gives us the inspiration we need when we paint a picture, fulfill an academic assignment, communicate with someone in a different country, or consider a solution for a knotty world problem. Creative ideas are already complete in Mind, and we can embrace each opportunity to discern and demonstrate this fact.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discover and Founder of Christian Science, wrote: “The creative Principle – Life, Truth, and Love – is God. There is but one creator and one creation. This creation consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities, which are embraced in the infinite Mind and forever reflected” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” pp. 502-503). I’m grateful we can each prove for ourselves the reality of this ongoing unfoldment of ideas, in whatever creative tasks we have.