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The Art of Stillness: Creative Motivation

 “Sometimes using your time well or wisely is really just a matter of  being still.” ~Candice Coates via the Lord Jesus

I, by nature, am a woman given to hard work. I have an inherent urge and drive to be productive, to seize the moment and bear fruits from my labor. Being still, not producing, often leaves me with an anxious feeling that I have wasted my time, time that I will never get back.

“Rest at Harvest” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau c. 1865

The deception of that ideology is one that plagues many of us, I am sure; being still means you have wasted a moment.

I am so grateful that this thought process is not based on the truth.

Years ago, I was presented with the converse of that false ideology. I learned that there can be great wisdom in resting… or simply being still.

All too often we confuse stillness with the lack of productivity. We in the west have been conditioned to believe that if there is no movement then nothing has been done.

This is actually an enemy of faith. Faith, as the Bible puts it in Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the substance of things NOT seen, the evidence of things hoped for.” Going a step further with faith, I am reminded of the beauty that comes from stillness especially in the face of my unfinished projects and art.

I have found that when I rest, when I am still and quiet, my creativity flourishes in a way that it does not when I am “trying to work” it out. In the hush of the still moments, the moments that logic says I should be moving, I find that the rivers of creativity flow, the sound of the stories play like music in my ears, and the colors of the art waiting to be made dance within my imagination with a clarity far more real than the world I live in.

“I want so very much to produce without a break in the moment but these breaks, if treated right, if embraced with the full commitment of rest, produce such wonderful and delicious fruit.”

It is in the stillness that I am able to take hold of the bouquet of roses without pricking my hands with the thorns of forced efforts…which ultimately equal wasted efforts.

Wouldn’t you agree with me, that it is indeed a waste of time to force your efforts only to find that hours later you end up trashing everything you squeezed out of you? You end up far more stressed afterward when you do this.

Forcing the moment is akin to squeezing the blood from turnips.

Those years ago, as I sat on my bed, warm buttery sunlight pouring through my window and onto my face, I heard the voice of the Lord Jesus say, “Sometimes using your time well or wisely is really just a matter of  being still.” And this is the truth.

Being still in body and even in the mind allows your creativity to speak without all the commotion. Clarity comes, the vision is brought into greater focus. Strength for the next steps is also given.

I still have to be reminded of this truth. I have to keep myself from straining to “hear,” but to simply allow myself to hear when the time comes.

I want so very much to produce without a break in the moment but these breaks, if treated with the reverence they deserve, if embraced with the full commitment of rest, produce such wonderful and delicious fruit.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” ~JOHN 15:4-5

When I look at William-Adolphe Bouquereau’s painting, “Rest at Harvest,” I see the truth yet again. The woman reclines with sublime peace at a time when she should be gathering in the grain.

Had she done the logical thing, she would have missed out on the joy she so clearly was filled with by simply being still and I would reckon (using my imagination here) that when she finally did go to gather the harvest she was much more efficient.

This is what I want to be. Actually, in writing this article and looking for the perfect image to express my words I was made to really take a deeper look at Bouguereau, and I have to say I have fallen in love.

My prayer is that in the seasons to come, I will continue to authentically produce fruits that draw Creatives in Christ to eat of them and find nourishment as well as glorify the Father and increase the Kingdom.

In my resting, I want to be abiding, as we are called to do in John 15, and in so doing, producing fruit that delights and glorifies Christ Jesus!

Let us all purpose to put away our need to hustle and grind and instead take up the yoke of Christ, rest, and abide and bear fruit through Him!

*Revised from July 14, 2014

*Photo by Amy Treasure on Unsplash

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

4 Comments

  1. Great pos!. I believe with stillness and silence we are creating inside us, growing, understand ourselves. When we are ready all this creativity will come out. So be still and create!

    • Thank you! I too believe this, but as I said in the post I have to be reminded of this truth especially in times when I want to be active outwardly. But just like a seed germinates in the darkness of the ground, hidden from view, so too does our purest form of creativity. 🙂 thank you for reading and leaving a comment!

  2. Pingback: Little Words: Thoughts On Doing Very Little, But Gaining So Much | I came for the soup...

  3. Pingback: Imagine That!: Week 9 in Sow the Seeds & Seize the Dream Free Creative Course #MondayMotivation #SeizetheDream – I came for the soup…

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