If, however, the King makes no sign of listening or of seeing us, there is no need to stand inert, like a dolt, which the soul would resemble if it continued inactive. In this case its dryness would greatly increase, and the imagination would be made more restless than before by its very effort to think of nothing. Our Lord wishes us at such a time to offer Him our petitions and to place ourselves in His presence; He knows what is best for us. St. Teresa of Avila
Inactivity, prayer, and creativity.
Recent experiences and conversations have reminded me that doing creative work is important to doing creative work. Doing creative work for others is different than doing creative work for ourselves, it takes something different, tapping into the reserves of the well. Doing creative work for the sake of doing creative work fills our reserve, our well, gives life.
While struggling with something recently a friend reminded me to do the creative work first. Set that creative time as a priority as you set the priorities for the day, the week, the month. When I do something creative first there is an opportunity to think, to pray, to gather my self for the day. Entering into a creative endeavor with a time limit, say 30 minutes, allows me to enter into the work of it all with a deeper sense of peace. In one sense this is like being on an airplane and putting on the oxygen mask first, so that I can help other people. It’s like Jesus going out into the desert to pray, to connect deeply with the Father.
Over the last several months I’ve been reading The Complete Works of St. Teresa of Avila. Going deeper in faith and prayer is essential for all of us. It is part of what fills that well of creativity from the hidden springs of faith, connectedness to God. St. Teresa’s descriptions of prayer are, for me, like really good chocolate, a little bit goes a long way. I’ll read a bit, reflect a bit, come back to the reading. It’s creating a desire for a deeper prayer life, one that I’m not sure I can attain, but one I long to work towards. Mmmm, work here is a really weak word, it’s the wrong word. I’ll find the right word eventually.
When I’ve been quiet for this long there’s often something going on in the background. This is a good thing that I will share as soon as the details are worked out. I ask for your continued prayers on this part of the journey. This quiet has also meant that the creative work isn’t on the forefront of my days and will have to be creative in incorporating something creative into my day. So while the quilting isn’t at the fore I can draw, read, knit, crochet which are all portable. I feel like I’ve been grounded however, while I feel this way the reality I’m not grounded. I need to enter into the creativity and prayer in a different way.