“creativity is a verb,
a very time-consuming verb”
I’ve been reading IMAGINE: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer in preparation for a thing I’m doing next month with a few others leaders from organizations which are part of Missio Nexus. And, as I just commented to a friend on Facebook who noted the auto-post by Amazon that I’d finished the book (is that eery music playing?), this book made me feel both comfortable and uncomfortable — which is one of the prerequisites for any book worth reading, in my opinion. Well, unless I’m just going for the beach-reading kind of deal, then the criteria are different.
Reading this book has been a most extraordinary journey for me. I found glimpses of myself in these pages that I didn’t anticipate. Honestly, I did not expect to come up for air after reading each chapter and hear myself exclaim things like “so, that’s why I do _______” or “this explains why I feel like whatever it is I’m feeling!”
Before you look for a large pin with which to pop by even larger ego, let me assure you that I do not consider myself equals with any of the people who were the subjects of the chapters in this book — people who are extraordinarily creative — but some aspects of my wiring is like some aspects of some of theirs.
And for those of you who are laughing as you discern that I may be admitting that I was surprised to see myself as creative as I read this book — for that is some of what I was experiencing — laugh on! I am fully aware that some of you would quickly use that word to describe me and I would quickly discount it more often than receive it as valid.
This is not me with my toe in the sand saying “ah, shucks” in an attempt to get you to give examples to prove your point so I can feel better about myself. This is me seeing myself as created in the image of a creative God in ways that I’d not up-until-now understood.
And, while the personal ah-hah was a delightful added bonus for my reading, I can also say that I gleaned a number of what I see as practical things from the book that I hope to be able to put skin on in a more organizational sense in the coming year. I’m grateful to be in a place where I can do that and where I can invite others to join me in the doing as well. This is both a privilege and responsibility of leadership that I love. (Lord, work through me and make me faithful to this calling!)
Okay, the chapter on the use of drugs was trippy (intended pun there) and I found myself frequently wandering onto the web to see more (like video of a surfer whose creativity is astounding). I even had to hop onto iTunes at one point to download some Bob Dylan when my curiosity got the best of me and I knew that for 99 cents I could put an end to the wondering and a beginning to the wonder.
The highlights and notes from my reading are available on Amazon. I think this link will take you there (and I have no idea what you might have to do to get to this after you click on it — probably log in to your Amazon.com account?).