This is a snapshot from my childhood, set against the backdrop of our family's annual trek to Waterton Park. My family and I travelled there from the flatness of the prairie for at least a week almost every summer until I moved away from home. The grandeur of the mountains to my flatlander's psyche was frightening at times. Despite the magnificence of the natural surroundings, the landscape had little to do with the story I was writing. When you're in 'the zone', location doesn't much matter. Time and surroundings fade away, replaced by a zen-like suspension as the creative mode takes over.
This particular scene played over and over during my growing up years. Give me a pad of paper and a pencil and I was as content at my own kitchen table as I was by a pristine mountain stream. Sitting on the grass on a golf course fairway (my father was an avid golfer and sometimes we kids got to tag along) or enjoying a visit to Auntie Mavis's farm - it didn't matter where I was or even who I was with. If I wasn't actually drawing in one of my many sketchpads, I was aching to do so. I never understood the kids who got 'bored'. When I got tired of playing a game or watching TV, I found some paper. Problem solved.
This month we've been challenged to write about the times we've felt God's pleasure, especially through writing. I can honestly say that most of the time, I feel an indescribable feeling of satisfaction when I'm writing creatively. (Not that there isn't a fair bit of gruelling hard work, too!) Hours can literally go by with very little sense of their passing. We've all experienced this while doing something we particularly enjoy but I was first introduced to the science behind it back in the 80s through Betty Edwards iconic book Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain.
What fascinates me the most is the simplicity of God's plan. We seem to connect with Him most - feel His pleasure - while doing something that skips the analysis part of our brain and goes straight to the intuitive. I suppose we could go one step further and equate 'intuition' to 'freedom' and freedom to creativity. 'Creativity', of course, is a very broad category. What is a creative activity for me (writing, drawing, painting) may be excruciating for someone else. I have several friends who are dedicated long distance runners and they all report a sense of euphoria while running not unlike that of famous runner Eric Liddell. I hate running. (Did I say 'hate'? I meant HATE.) It gives me a headache. But God made each one of us unique. This makes perfect sense when you consider that we are made in His image and He is the ultimate creator.
Think about what makes you lose track of time. You just might find God waiting there.