Through these fall months, I’ve been taking an online continuing education course titled “Created to be Creative.” One thing that stood out to me right away was creating out of chaos. In our first session, we talked about the way that God creates. Often through intention, through voice, through God’s expansive creativity.
The question came up for how we as created people then do our own creating. God creates out of nothing, is that something we can do? But we can also understand from the Genesis stories that God creates out of chaos. Maybe ourselves can’t create out of nothing, but I know we can create out of chaos.
Existing in Chaos
Sometimes I find myself laughing, because sharing a home and a life with a toddler often means living in a chaotic atmosphere. From toys all over the floor to finding goldfish crackers in my shoes…Parenting young children is wild and joyous and messy and most definitely chaotic.
But even before parenthood, I’ve always found myself drawn to the chaotic world around me. Which is often paradoxical since I also love order and organization and planning. Humans are weird. I have a quote from an interview with Bob Dylan tattooed on my ankle “Chaos is a friend of mine.” I have always loved Bob Dylan, and when I found this quote it spoke to me.
So when the professor mentioned “creating out of chaos,” I knew I was hooked into this course.
Finding Creativity in the Midst of Mess
For me, the chaotic atmosphere of my home often pushes against my preferred organization and planning. But that chaotic mess actually, for me anyway, actually gets me moving. Sometimes it begins with a very intense cleaning session that leaves me feeling productive and ready to move on to a new project.
And sometimes the mess helps with creativity. Maybe it’s the chaos of a busy afternoon with our Small Seeds and Sprouts program. Everyone running around, unsure of what to do. I remember a day where we had three new kiddos and our original plans just didn’t fit with the growing group.
It was in that chaotic mess that we discovered our kids love to play hide and seek games like Sardines. Games with lots of running and searching and laughing together. Sometimes chaos leads us to creative discoveries that we wouldn’t have found otherwise.
Finding Peace Amidst the Chaos
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s often strange to me that chaos is a friend of mine, because I prefer to be so much more organized and prepared than chaos often allows. But sometimes it’s the stressful chaotic mess that we find ourselves in or receive on our plate that have the most room for creativity.
Whether it be art, ministry, our homes, our work, or our lives, in the midst of whatever chaotic moment we are experiencing, God is there with us. Encouraging that creativity. Guiding us in our steps so that we too might create and see that is indeed “good.”
What are some experiences you have of creativity in the midst of chaos? How have you responded to chaotic situations in the past? What are ways you might respond differently putting chaos into the lens of creativity and God’s creative power in you?