harmony, heck, holism.
What Is the Christian Faith? > Spiritual Word Meanings > Creativity and Harmony
creativity [ < Latin creâre (to cause to exist) ] the ability to make something exist; to innovate, to imagine and make something come to be from it. To make something out of what's deep down within us which makes for conflict or peace, insight or resistance.
We make out of what is; even our thoughts are based on what we already have experienced/learned, so it's not quite the same thing as God can do. Yet even God doesn't usually create out of nothing. God prefers creating through created-stuff.
Human creativity draws from the same kind of creative power that is part of the image of God in us, the same kind of creative power that God used in making us out of already-existing earthly stuff (represented in Genesis by the clay and the garden). We can create that which is ugly, false, selfish, deceptive, diversionary, flimsy, superficial, distortive, evil, greedy, murderous, violent, or controlling. We can create beauty, harmony, truth, compassion, durability, trust, justice, righteousness, solidarity, peace, or community. Creativity cuts both ways, like everything else in this created realm; remember that next time anyone praises creativity.
Creativity is not a matter of thought. Creativity must go somewhere, do something, be something, or make something happen. Otherwise, it's not really creative. It is spiritual by its nature; it lives. But sometimes being patient and wise are more important than being creative. When most people think of 'creative', their mind goes to art, music, poetry, or performance. However, for the creative mind, there is room to create in all walks of life. Apple Computing is famous for its creative engineering. Urban redevelopment often involves creative re-visioning of a neighborhood. Some money-center banks are infamous for their 'creative financing'. But you must be open to new approaches in order to create.
You can also look for 'creativity' in the dictionary.
gratitude [ < Latin grâtitûdô < grâtus (pleasing < favorable)] The state of being grateful. Grateful: appreciative of some sort of benefit you receive from someone; especially to the point of doing something in return to please your benefactor. Gratitude is a frame of mind rooted in grace. In the same word-field: thankful, appreciative.
Gratitude is a key motive for Christian morality, and thus any Christian way of living. God did everything to show love for me, so I want to do right by people, I want to live the kind of life that God would be happy about. A growing proportion of us have little idea of what gratitude really means. Saying "thank you" is too often a way of being polite, not a way of being. They want to think of themselves as being in control, as the one who makes their life tick. But tonight your soul may be required of you. And if it isn't, it may well be because God wanted to give you another day to remember all the things God and other people did for you along the way. An attitude of gratitude naturally leads to love, and repayment by acts of love. Being grateful to God leads to acts which, whatever else they may be, are acts of worship. There are many whom each of us have every reason to be grateful for; the challenge is to treat them accordingly.
"Gratitude is a virtue of the highest excellence, as it implies a feeling and generous heart, and a proper sense of responsibility."
"When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?"
"To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.
Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference."
"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
William Arthur Ward
Go ahead. Show the dictionary some gratitude.
A Spirithome Dare: Go throughout tomorrow thanking each person who helps you or serves you. Every single one of them. From wake-up to bedtime. From lovers to strangers to enemies. No matter how small the deed is. At day's end, look back on it. What did it cause? What did you feel? What was their reaction?
harmony [ < Greek harmonia (harmony, agreement < working together) < harmos (joint) ] a sense of being in a rightful relationship with the rest of existence.
Harmony can't happen in a system where all things lose identity into an Absolute Oneness (like most Asian and New Age religions); the result would be one melody by one voice, no unison and no parts. Christianity holds that each person -- and beyond that, each part of nature -- is loved by God for what they are. If all of them sing only what they feel like singing, it's just noise, a cacophony not a harmony. But if they follow the Conductor, there are melodies and harmonies, rhythms and raps, whistles and claps, leads and backup. It would all fit together. That harmony is the Kingdom, not our current life. But we can now live according to God's will as revealed in Jesus, and thus be a part of the harmony now and later.
The three closest earthly things to this harmony are:
You can also check for 'harmony' in the dictionary.
Heck : where people end up who don't believe in Gosh.
holism : involving the whole [ < Greek holos (whole) ] Adjective form: holistic.
Holistic approaches envision a person or thing as a whole rather than examining its parts as if they were separate things. God treats us in that way. Paul looked at the Church holistically, by likening it to a whole body in which the parts have to work together in order for it to function. In that sense the church is one whole life, or "one body". There are some activities, ways of thinking, and ways of living that do harm to the whole. For instance, pollution of one place is pollution of the whole earth, and it eventually starts spreading around. Some amount of tension and disbalance can be holistic; a tooth is 'disbalanced' in favor of calcium and hard materials, but that makes it able to do a task that is healthy for the whole body. We can appreciate difference as potentially healthy, but some kinds of difference are not; for instance, cancerous cells will kill the whole, as will cells that have taken in certain viruses, and invader cells from the outside that have no commitment to the whole. You can't be holistic (or even wholesome) just by adding an herb to your diet or taking a 'natural' supplement. Holism is about not one or two things, but the whole thing including its relationship with other whole things. In history, God works mostly through little things whose effects add up holistically.
Look here for one example of a real holistic approach to illness. You can also check the dictionary on the meaning of 'holism'. 'Wholesome' is not used often enough in this word-field.
imagination [ < Latin imâginârî < imâgô (image) ] the mind's testing ground.
By imagining, you can find out how things might become, even if you know through ordinary thinking that they can't be that way. Imagination finds ways, possibilities. Imagination is not reality, but it usually has at least some way of being reflected in reality. (When it doesn't, it's mere fantasy.) You can use your imagination to set yourself into what happens in the Bible, and thus let it have more impact on you. God's got a great imagination, though one that's a bit strange. (Would you have imagined a giraffe?) God imagined us before creating us. God uses imagination to make a way out of no way, to make good come from evil. When the Holy Spirit is inspiring someone, that person's imagination is engaged and running at full speed, taking them in new and unexpected directions.
Imagination can also give us a wholesale escape from truth. (For instance, TV shows are often vehicles for a craving to escape reality, triggering our imagination both when the show is on and when it's off.) Today's world has become so good and so thorough at the art of triggering use of the imagination for escape that it is easier than ever to trick ourselves or let others trick us. Our imagination becomes trained to go in that same escapist rut, and is thus crippled in helping us deal with real life. We need less to 'expand' our imagination than to redirect it toward grasping a full vision for the real world.
Now, imagine looking for 'imagination' in the dictionary.
irenic : bringing or causing peace [ < Greek eirene]. Also : peace-making, bridging, frithening, shalom, reconciliation. When something is done in an irenic way, it is being done in a way that helps find common ground, creates understanding and appreciation, or soothes sore points of dispute. Paul was calling Christians to be irenic when he wrote of his ministry as a "ministry of reconciliation". There are times when irenic is not what is needed; there's a time to break eggs to make the meal. Sometimes being irenic will prove to be a temporary way of putting off really dealing with a matter. But an irenic approach is usually more helpful and more in line with the ways of the Kingdom.
You can also check the dictionary for 'irenic'.
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|ver.: 22 June 2011.|
Creativity and Holism. Copyright © 1995-2011 by Robert Longman.