Just Playing Around
When I’m with my granddaughters, one of our favorite things to do is to go to a playground. Their imagination goes wild! Swings let them fly like birds. Slides let them soar like a dolphin in the blue ocean. Monkey bars let them be monkeys swinging in trees. Rings and balance beams let them be acrobats in the circus. It’s great to watch them have fun, use their amazing imaginations, and be creative in their play.
My very favorite playground is my imagination. For me, there’s nothing more exciting than dreaming up a lovely setting or a compelling dialogue or discovering a character’s new perspective that changes her life. When I write, I’m definitely in one of my favorite play places, and when I’m done “playing”, I feel like I’ve had a fun afternoon at the playground.
I’m tired but happy. I’m satisfied and energized. I’m content.
When we use our imagination, creating makes us feel alive, and when we fully access the possibilities of it, it’s a blast. We hear sounds and see details that we might not ever see otherwise. We smell the rain coming and taste flavors we might never taste with our tongue. We feel the leather or the rough homespun cotton of an Irish immigrant. We hear conversations that make a difference in the lives of others.
Our mind’s eye becomes vibrant with the details and scenes and characters and plots that challenge our fingers to virtually fly over the keys, trying to keep up with our excited creativity. We enjoy the journey so much that it doesn’t matter if our stomach is growling or sweat forms on our brow or our girlfriends are e-mailing. We are in the zone. We are playing in God’s playground.
We’re giving birth to a story, and we know it’s God leading us to write it down. For those of us who are not writers or haven’t yet experienced such elation, don’t worry. We writers are not crazy. You’re not crazy. We’re all just unique. And that’s okay.
Whether you’re a four year old on the playground, a fourteen year old in English class, a forty-year-old beginning writer, or an eighty-four year old seasoned author— allowing the imagination to play and creativity to grow will open your world to an exciting new life. And even if you’re not a writer, creating a new recipe or building a new wood project can give you that creative excitement and play.
So no matter where you are in life, go and play in the playground of creativity. Let your imagination soar and let inspiration and creativity flourish. Make time for it. Develop the skills to grow in your creativity. Let the childish play begin, and see what God might do.
What’s your favorite playground? I’d love to know!
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