A couple of times this morning, I had surprisingly creative moments. First, very early, while free writing after some scripture reading, the themes for my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day sermons popped into my head. Later, as I sat in my office to begin working on sermons for the next two Sundays, the themes and outlines fell into place in just a few hours.
After those few hours of door-closed, phone-in-airplane-mode, no distraction work, I paused to capture what made the morning so productive with what seemed like so little effort. You see, I want to be able to recreate such moments. As any writer, artist, composer or pastor knows, it’s not always that easy. Sometimes you close the door, turn off the distractions, pray, struggle, work and sweat, only to come up with nothing useful. Was there anything specific about today that I can replicate in the future?
One might suggest divine inspiration, and that may be a part of it. But there’s no way to predict when that might happen or turn it on like a faucet. God’s Spirit is like the wind. There’s no way to predict when you’ll feel the breeze. You just enjoy it when it blows.
I thought of a few things that might have contributed to an especially creative morning. First, I was as far away from Sunday as I could be. No pressure, no imminent deadline. I didn’t have to come up with any ideas. That reality freed my mind to wander, imagine, visualize and come up with all kinds of crazy ideas.
I’ve also begun drawing pictures in my journal, images that I find on the pages of my morning devotions. I’ll bet doing something artistic wakes up the right side of my brain, the creative side.
I believe reading helps, too. If I just read some devotional stuff, some fiction, a mystery, anything that takes me away in a story, and my mind begins to generate ideas. Out of nowhere. They just start to grow. Ten to fifteen minutes of reading opens a window into parts of my mind where really cool ideas otherwise lie hidden just out of sight.
I may not always be as productive as I was this morning. But I am going to try making every Monday morning such a creative time.