Einstein called creativity “the residue of time”.
So quoted Pete Grieg at the Retreat to Advance conference last weekend. A great weekend where God spoke many things, but this one stuck out. Grieg threw out some real nuggets, explaining that “sometimes it is in the waste that the treasure is found”, referring to Lowack coffee – the most expensive coffee in the world made from beans found in a small animal’s poo. His encouragement was to leave time to waste. To not fill our diaries so full that there is no time for time to leave it’s residue and God to speak to our imaginations. When we’re rushing from pillar to post, weighed down by busyness and pressure upon pressure, then we become our least creative, our most imaginatively restricted. Then it is harder for our Creator God to speak.
I must admit that since getting back from that weekend this week has been manic. But today I finally stopped and yesterday God prompted me to look in a journal I started during theological college. I found a few pages at the back written during a Quiet Day containing two poems. Evidence of a creative side I rarely allow expression, but I love whenever I do. So today I’m going to share the first poem with you. Then over the next week or so I’ll share both the other poem and the journal entry. Written in a particular situation 2 years ago, they still speak fresh to me today and (I pray) might speak to you too. But for now, a bit of poetry, you don’t have to like it or even think it’s very good, but please be sensitive in any comments! Maybe it’ll inspire your creative side too! If you’ve every felt the pressure of being overworked, where everything seems too much but you feel you can’t stop, then you’ll know the feeling that started this poem. I’ve seen first hand the effect of workaholic stress and have felt a tendency in myself at times. Yet I’ve also found a place, or rather a person, that brings peace. That’s what this is about; read generously…
Must not fall.
Never slip or slide.
that my efforts cease.
For all depends on Me
Who am I?
Blinded, narrow gaze – wide as my face and no more
Who am I?
Face full of tasks and jobs – no arms in sight but mine
Who am I?
All there is, there is nothing more
Yet could there be any less?
Me? I’m a mess
covered, smothered of swirling, churning slime
a suffocating damp of pressured time as minutes tick
and fall – hours, days, deadlines gone and
still I soldier on
a plastic toy on broken stand, bent gun at side,
I want to run and hide, but who then?
when I am gone, who then?
what disaster if I cease?
The knowledge of another
Gone – stripped and slips away
as in my life I turn and pray…
My life is gift – his not mine.
Time held in his hands,
And his mind my feet shall guide.
For nought depends on me at all.
If I should fall, crushed or drown,
With thorns for crown and pierced side spilling light.
Light that warms, leads and shines.
Rock that holds, secures, supports.
Drink that fills, sustains, renews.
Grace that occupies, endows with power,
For to this hour we are called as He was first
And now we follow, to have fulfilled in us all He desires and plans
Through Him and Him alone, for on the throne of my heart stands,
The only King, the worthy King,
Lord of light, my everything,
His name is Jesus.