“I’ll get back to my manuscript once my world calms down.”
As a writing coach and former publisher, I’ve heard that comment from hundreds of writers. It makes me sad – because rarely does the oasis of calm arrive.
We live in a world of chaos – so putting our creativity on hold during times of havoc isn’t helpful. It actually delays our dreams as great ideas go unfinished.
So am I saying it’s best to try and push through the chaos in our own strength?
That approach doesn’t work either. Our best work never happens when we’re overwhelmed and weary. What we give birth to in that distracted state lacks an eternal spark.
The story we’re writing will never have more life than the story we’re living.
Thankfully, God provides us with a third option. It’s not just a better choice – it’s the only true way to create in chaos (keep reading for a free video on Creative Invitation and Opposition at the bottom of this post).
But don’t just take my word for it.
Let’s watch God in action. In Genesis 1:3, God is about to create everything from nothing. He will speak light, oceans, galaxies, stallions, redwood trees, dolphins, and mankind into existence.
Yet before the creativity, God first deals with chaos.
Genesis 1:2 is that mysterious passage where we find the Spirit of God hovering over the deep. The Message translation describe it in this way:
“Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.” Hebrew scholars note that whatever else is going on here, God is bringing order from disorder. He is reshaping chaos into beauty, life, and order.
Please don’t miss this point.
- It is only after God’s encounter with chaos that the days of creation begin. In other words, God chooses to enter into chaos and, rather than being affected by it, affects it. Through his presence and creativity, He ushers in order, beauty, and life where there was only emptiness and disorder.
In the gospels, we see Jesus respond to chaos at practically every turn. In the midst of a raging storm (just to use one example) Jesus isn’t fearful or worried. Though chaos surges around him, he doesn’t become more chaotic. Instead, he confidently but calmly transforms the growing havoc – both in the weather and disciples – into peace and order through his presence and words.
God and Jesus are demonstrating a better way to respond to chaos.
Notice they don’t wait it out, avoid it, accept it, or panic.
Nor do they seem surprised or caught off guard when chaos hits.
Yet we are.
We’re constantly surprised when turbulence interrupts our lives. Jesus gave us a heads-up that in this world that we will have trouble (John 16:33) – and he wasn’t kidding.
Make no mistake.
You have an enemy who seeks to kill, steal, and destroy you (John 10:10). The strikes coming at you are strategic. So don’t be caught flat-footed when the crazy train comes – whether in your creativity, relationships, health, finances, or work.
The good news is – we can overcome what overwhelms us.
We can’t do it in our own strength.
But with God we can enter into chaos without chaos entering into us. It’s freeing to realize that chaos comes at us but is not us. It’s an external force trying to get in – and we have the power to deny entry.
But it gets even better.
While we can’t stop chaos from striking, we can use it as our canvas.
With God, we have the power to transform the atmosphere and usher in beauty, life, and order. And we do that through both our presence and gifting.
This is huge. Your stories have the power to transform the world, shifting the atmosphere for all who encounter them. But that only happens we embrace God’s interpretation of our creativity.
That’s why I developed the new five-part video series, Creating in Chaos. It’s designed to help you experience breakthrough in all that opposes your creativity. It is both practical and mythic in the ways it will enhance your writer’s journey of discovery. I think you’ll savor it and find yourself referring to it time and again as you create.
Filmed live before an audience, each of the five sessions are about 20 minutes in length and perfect for individual or group use:
If you’re ready to bring beauty, life, and order from the chaos in your world, I invite you to watch the first session in the Creating in Chaos series – Creative Invitation & Opposition – for FREE