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Bushes and Creativity

A young black man somewhere in his early thirties strolled moderately down the sidewalk headed south on Hearn Ave. near the intersection of Hollywood and Hearne. The heat index was 105 degrees. It was hotter than blue blazes. I was traveling along with a trailer load of building materials for a project in the auditorium. It was so hot that I kept looking at the temperature gauge on the dash to make sure the old Chevy didn’t get too hot. It was a scorcher. I slowed as much as I could in the traffic to watch this young man. He dressed for his stroll as comfortably as he could. He was wearing a white tee shirt, blue cotton Dockers, white socks and tennis shoes. As he eased down the sidewalk he bounced slightly each time his right foot met the ground. He was traveling! His left arm dangled in systematic rhythm with the bounce in his steps, swaying back and forth as if suspended from a well oiled hinge. His right arm was lifted up above his head with his elbow bent hanging his hand over the top of his head. In his hand was a leafy bush that he had obviously commandeered somewhere along the way. The bush was small with many twigs ladened with leaves. Since he had to walk out in the bald open sun, this guy decided to take his own shade with him.

Now understand, I’ve seen, as you have, many people walk around with an umbrella to keep the sun off their heads and I’ve seen them use newspapers and things like that. But, in my forty four years, this was the first time I’ve ever seen any one carry a bush around for shade. I suppose that most folks might have laughed and thought how stupid that looked. I thought it was rather creative. Some might have mocked and belittled him, but I wanted to know how he came up with such a thing. I doubt seriously you will ever see me walking down a busy street, or any street, with a bush hanging over my head, but I thought this guy was the most creative person I had met all day.

Creativity is a pleasing spice in life. The bible begins its message with creativity because God is a creative God. There is something to be said about being created in His image. We are constantly encouraged to “be like Him.” God wants us to be creative. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10)

God created each one of us with an imagination. He gave each of us the option of serving Him. If we choose to serve Him we will be rewarded in the end. If we choose not to serve Him, we will be punished. That is not a hard concept to grasp, but the thing we struggle with the most is how to serve Him. What are we to do? Some have reduced serving God to being in the right assembly on the right day, doing the right things. Now don’t get me wrong, all this rightness is important but it does not complete our service.

God told us to go into the world and take the gospel. He did not tell us how to go. You can fly in a jet or ride on a donkey. God doesn’t care. You can ride a jet ski or parachute and God will not mind. He did not say how to go, He just said go. Be creative.

As a matter of fact, most of the things God told us to do He left up to us to figure the best way to get it done. He wants us to be creative. Show love to each other, He said, but He did not say how it was to be done. Be creative. He told us to help one another, but He did not say how. Be creative. Creativity does not violate Scripture, it fulfills it. We can never change the doctrine, nor would we want to, but we can be creative with our approach to methods.

With creativity, you and I will be a much happier family. Tradition is good and healthy, but too much of a good thing will kill you. Give yourself a little slack. Be creative in how you deal with others. You might look as strange as a fellow with a bush on his head, but hey, he was in the shade.