I am in a weird spot lately. I have random stress and anxiety when I pass Postal Service trucks or see old coworkers in public. I chauffeur, cook for and chase a two year old dictator around what feels like all the time while I wonder how I got here.
Sounds like a perfect time to be reading a book on business and leadership, right?
Ken Wytsma’s new book, Create vs Copy is small and a quick read like a lot of leadership books I have seen and/ or read in the past. Within the first hour of reading I didn’t feel like I was the target audience, because… well I don’t want to change. And it seemed like he called my life out a couple times in his description “parent of a diapered child” as someone who wasn’t prepared to take the steps needed. Add that to the stress of complicated taxes pausing my life and lack of work I agreed that I didn’t have time to create right now. Then he expounds and says that when you feel the worst or least ready you are at the best place to be creative. And if you are overwhelmed and that thought scares you, Wytsma points out that creativity will actually create space for rest.
Come on! Seriously, I fell asleep reading it 4 nights in a row because I didn’t know how to not be tired while seated. If creativity is a muscle that grows while being worked or atrophies when not, I figured it would be any use trying to build it up with the limited time I had to sit and create.
But then, I got past the introduction and into the theology and practicality of creating and it started to make me desire more. Ken shows the theology of creating through God’s own process.
“Just as God has saved us, is saving us, and will ultimately perfect our salvation, He has created the world, is still actively creating it through and with us, and will ultimately perfect His creation in eternity.”
We are created by a creator that is still through us.
For us to further the kingdom and dare I say create a fulfilling life we need to think outside the box. We need some divergent thinking. We need to use imagination— and if struggling to— to put down the wifi device and watch cartoons with our kids and their imaginary friends. This leads to innovation which leads to the change we are often desiring. If we don’t we will never change.
Creation isn’t about just art or technology, either. It is about solving problems we have or the world has.
Practically for me, I need to be creative while starting our little urban farm. We don’t have a budget for it so I am using a lot of reclaimed items that are not necessarily made for holding compost or water or plants. There has been a lot of failure, which is part of creating. I have built and deconstructed a fenced enclosure 5 times now. But I needed to innovate and attempt what I imagined would work.
On a larger scale, Create vs Copy made me think of the homeless issues in Portland. How my city isn’t like Salt Lake City or Hawaii or even Seattle. We have less resources than some others and more opportunities to change than others. It is going to take a new approach specifically built for Portland. Divergent thinking is required to figure out how to house and care for some of the 5000 people that are sleeping in a temporary space tonight. I will write more on that later and some of my imaginative ideas that just might work.
In the meantime I think I will read over Create vs. Copy again and see if I can learn a little more about leadership while I have the time. And actually look at some of the group questions and further reading at Kenwystma.com. And maybe figure out how to transition better.