“Maybe you need a creative vacation,” my husband said to me last week. He was right; I needed one in the worst way. I took his advice and marked it on my calendar, just in case I walked away from that conversation and changed my mind. Words straight from scripture cycled through my mind over and over during my choice to step away from my creative work for a bit.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
Paul encouraged believers to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice to God, and creativity is part of me. Made in the image of a creative God who spoke stars into existence and whose breath marked the sea’s boundary, my creativity is an extension of His own.
When God rested on the seventh day of creation, He deemed it holy. Rest wasn’t something God needed; He wasn’t exhausted or spent. He knew the ones created in His image would look to Him for guidance; after all, He is the source of all creativity. He showed us how and why we need rest.
To rest is to stop, reflect, and remember. Rest recalibrates our inhale and exhale. It’s a holy invitation and an essential part of the creative process.
Rest is more than celebration; rest is worship.
God knew we would struggle with this one, so He demonstrated it at the very beginning in love. Sabbath is an invitation to practice rest week after week, because we forget. Sure we know we need sleep, but we forget that we are not God. Our limitations are not shameful, nor shocking to God in the least.
When God rests from His creative work, He doesn’t cease to be Creator. One of the many vast differences between us and God is that we are created, and He is Creator. The many limitations of our humanity are opportunities for God to work… in us.
God produces His best creative work through surrendered hearts. It’s always been this way, even when we resist the process. God works in ways we least expect, for His thoughts vary wildly from ours, and His ways soar exceedingly higher. He works in the small, unseen spaces to display His power in our weakness, to reveal His plan in our stillness, to make known His will through humble worship.
If it’s been too long since you’ve celebrated the work He’s done in you, maybe you need a creative vacation, too. The most crucial lesson I’ve learned this past week is that God can accomplish so much more in my resting than in my creating. This empty space has re-aligned my heart with His. It’s helped me remember who I am, and more importantly, who I am not.
Jesus loves you,