I recently experienced weeks of a creative block with the direction I needed to move forward with a calling. Feeling like a rat in a maze of brick walls, I felt as if I were running in endless, breathless zig-zags of frustration, until I finally decided to surrender.
I’ve hit walls in other areas of my life in the past where surrendering seemed the only option: troubled relationships, career directions, and when I wanted to move to a new location. When we’re stuck in muddy ditches of such conundrums, surrendering is a good beginning.
But I discovered there’s more to surrender. In relinquished states, wisdom has room to spread wings. Wisdom whispers unexpected insights, new ideas, and fresh perspectives. She is like a wise grandma, an ancient source of comfort.
Surrendering comforts when troubled relationships breed anger, concern or hurt. Rather than digressing into fruitless despair, worry, or hooking-of-the-horns confrontations when a relationship goes sour, wisdom rises offering gems of middle way peace-seeking communication and resolve. Wisdom instructed me in a particular difficult relationship to turn my gaze inward to wounds that needed healing, rather than projecting my bruised self onto those I blamed. Wisdom gave me peace-offering solutions in a relationship filled with conflict. It allowed me to end a toxic relationship, and when worried about a loved in the throes of inner conflict, wisdom guided us both to a wholesome solution.
I’ve sought wisdom when I longed to move to a new location from a small mountain town in Oregon, where, suffocated between green, wet hills, I longed for a city and the beach. Wisdom gave me patience as she paved the way for my family to move San Diego, where I feel a sense of home I haven’t had since my early childhood years on Long Island. Today, I find a similar wonder in surburban San Diego as I did as a child growing up on Long Island; families gathering by community pools, walks down sandy shores, and big wide skies. Children playing in neighborhood streets brings memories of frolicking on Long Island streets on summer nights, catching lighting bugs in glass jars, running toward the ding-a-lings of the ice cream truck bells, yearning for the sweet taste of melting creamsicles. Taking the Coaster down to the heart of the San Diego for city nightlife sparks fond memories of adventures to Broadway shows in New York City with grandma. Wisdom led me to a hearts desire, a path to home.
During my creative block, I struggled for clarity for specific what next A-B-C steps I could take — to no avail. Instead, in surrendering, crystal clear direction came in the words “seek wisdom” which guided me to patient waiting, more walks and downtime rather than forcing creativity which rather likes to emerge in God’s time. Soon enough, my mind bursted with fireworks of refreshing ideas.
A magnificent poem in Proverbs 8 tells us that wisdom was the first of God’s work, formed ages ago “at the very beginning, when the earth came to be” — before oceans, and springs before mountains, and hills, and fields, clouds and humankind, wisdom stood “filled with delight day after day“.
Wisdom, Sophia in Greek, is with God from the beginning. She precedes all of creation! Who else would know best to lift the burden of my creative blocks, but the one with God as creation was formed, when God deemed it ‘all good’, who knows the rhymes and reason of creation’s splendor? How often she’s neglected in the telling of the creation story!
Wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. She shines like a diamond in the rough, bringing peace and prosperity, guidance and protection, she’s the one who shouts out in the streets:
Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
and make you wise. – Proverbs 1:20-23
Do we hear her?
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who get’s understanding..She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. – Proverbs 3:13-18
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.– Proverbs 4:6
Are you struggling with an issue, a relationship, and decision, a need? Listen for her promises, follow her ways!
Ironically, my scripture reading this morning was from James 1 that spoke boldly about simply asking God when we need wisdom.
<If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.-James 1:5
Yet, James 1 also tells us that when we ask for wisdom, we “must believe and not doubt”, because doubt is “like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind”, unstable, double-minded, and unreceptive to promised gifts.
So believe, and not doubt, and “it will be given to you” – believe, and receive the peace-giving, enriching, authentic, without fault, promises of wisdom! She’s like nectar dripping through our minds, bodies and souls, receive her, she is merciful and sincere, and holds no blame!
The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.– James 3:17
I find the greatest wonderment of wisdom in the New Testament that tells us it is Christ “who has become for us wisdom from God” (Corinthians 1:30), and that it is in “Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom”.(Col 2:3)
My creative block isn’t, after all, the issue. The issue is that in relying on my own will, my own way, my own agendas for a calling, I missed the treasures of Christ’s heart — the unfolding gems of wisdom doing her organic, fruitful work, the loving, superior way of living as a branch on Christ’s vine, well-nourished by wisdom’s ways, at peace, trusting, knowing, following.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.” Proverbs 4:89
The one who gets wisdom loves life. – Proverbs 19:8