|Image by theshaker.com.au|
Last year Bob Jones posted a compelling story of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The explorers had designed and used canoes to cross the United States. However, when they approached the Rocky Mountains, they had to totally change strategies and ride horses.
Bob asked: “Have you ever felt like a canoeist who has run out of water? There is no writing route in front of you; no map; no quick fix or easy answer. You’re stuck. What is your canoe? What have you dropped to achieve your writing dream?” (a must-read here!)
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One of my goals for last year was to submit more articles for publication. I was succeeding, but needed to do more. As I was praying on my walk one morning, God dropped an idea into my mind: "Submit devotionals.” I had stopped doing this because it seemed like such fussy work—finding scriptures, applications, and prayers, and then formatting those 200 words to the editor’s specifications. But I began.
Shortly after, I dreamed of knitting a pink scarf. In my dream I discovered I had dropped ten stitches some rows back. I was disheartened. I would have to undo a lot of work and reknit all those rows.
Often I journal my dreams, and God gives insight as to what these scenarios might mean. He was telling me that some of my article drafts were incomplete, and I had to revise them, adding new vital components.
From that time, I began to spend several days each month developing these devotionals, both for submission and for my own collection. Doing so turned out to be a refreshing task, and I discovered new answers to unresolved issues. I was struggling with writing satisfying conclusions with a punch, and a short devotional forced me to think of a spiritual application and a call to action.
Another benefit came during my early morning time with the Lord, many insights into God’s word feed directly into my writing, including spiritual applications. Taking extra moments to write thoughts has increased my writing efficiency and fluency, and I’m able to complete more articles/revisions more quickly.
God supplied a further answer. After two or three months of intensive writing, I get mentally tired—and I was drained when God gave me this new strategy. Working on short devotionals provided a down time when I didn't have to think of the complexities of a longer article.
I now recognize that God's wisdom and larger plan was a significant turning point in my development as a writer. What have I learned about adaptive creativity in these last months?
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God created us to be flexible, not only to adapt to changing circumstances, but also to learn and grow through them.
The path God calls us to follow can be unknown to us, but God knows it well. He has a bigger plan, and wants to equip us for greater service as we write and tell our stories to those who desperately need God.
He calls us to let go of the familiar, push through our discomfort and take risks. Our obedience can begin with a single decision, a single step in response to God's prompting. As we do so, God gives wisdom from the overflow of His abundant creativity. He births new ideas and possibilities, supplies new strategies, and leads us to breakthroughs where we have struggled in the past.
When we are afraid and see only the mountains or the valleys and don’t see the God who guides us, we lose the clarity of our calling. Or in positive terms, when we choose to see beyond the mountains to the God who guides our way, we gain clarity and a new perspective of our calling.
Let us pray these new visions into being, trusting God to guide us into our unknowns and into His vision for us, and praising God for all He intends to do.
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29, NIV.)
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Now over to you.
· How has God or is God challenging you to adaptive creativity? What is Your greatest challenge? In what ways is this challenge beyond your capabilities?
· How might God be calling you to take a risk? Meditate, and listen to what God says to you through a thought, a scripture, or through others. Listen for him in the coming days.
· What advice or encouragement can you pass on to your readers?
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LINKS: This post was also partially inspired by the following InScribe writers:
Marcia Laycock wrote a compelling story on adapting her talk to inspire an unresponsive audience.
Denise Ford portrayed a lighthouse as a metaphor to guide her on a new course.