Staying in the Orbit of Your Creativity


We all live in some kind of orbit. Each day, each to-do list or each crisis puts us into some kind of path. We often try to propel ourselves into the creative orbit only to see it derailed or interrupted. Author Gordon MacKenzie calls this being sucked into the giant hairball that may stop us and ultimately destroy our energy and drive to complete what’s before us.

We can allow several things to hinder or block creativity:

Fear and doubt. I’m reminded of the Israelites and their refusal to enter the Promised Land because of fear and doubt. Twelve men spied out the land and only two came back ready to do what God called them to do. They thought more of their enemies and difficulties than God’s promises and leading. We can’t be too harsh with them because many of us have done the same thing—our creativity is stifled because we focus on what we can’t do or the difficulties instead of what we’ve been called to do. F. B. Meyer put it this way, “When we look at the circumstances apart from God; when giants bulk bigger than the ascended Christ, we also turn back from the Rest of God to the barren wanderings of the waste.”[1]

Pride. The more I learn about great leaders and exceptional creative people I recognize the power of humility and the destructive force of pride in our lives. We can read the Bible and find many characters that were doomed by their pride. We often don’t take creative risks because of our pride and it often comes from our need to please people’s opinions rather than being bold in what vision or message we’ve been given.

Control. We can’t let go of anything. We can get so stuck in our orbit that we either get unduly upset over interruptions or we don’t take a break for renewal and refreshment. We want it our way and this can cause us to push God aside and His way and His path.

Discouragement. When this blocks our orbit we often give up. John Stott wrote, “Discouragement is the greatest occupational hazard of a believer, as it can lead to loss of vision and enthusiasm.”[2] He hits the nail on the head. Discouragement takes away our vision and our joy of our creativity.

How do we get back into the creative orbit?

Trust. When we are in the creative orbit we need to trust God’s promises, way and will. When fear and doubt creep in we need mentally take a giant sword and hack it down—utterly destroy it because it has no place in our creativity and what He’s called us to do with the gifts He’s given us.

Stop Analyzing Everything. Where would we be today if Abraham had carefully weighed the pros and cons of leaving the comfort of Ur instead of following God’s plan? We analyze and look to other people for their approval? We run ourselves nuts wondering if something we’ve created is “perfect” (whatever that is). Instead, we need to boldly create and leave the results in God’s hands.

Celebrate Your Gift. Gordon MacKenzie wrote, “There has never been anyone quite like you, and there never will be. Consequently you can contribute something to an endeavor that nobody else can. There is power in your uniqueness—an inexplicable, immeasurable power.”[3] We can’t let fear, doubt, pride, control and discouragement derail us from our creativity.

Let’s not be robbed of what we can create, not let ourselves rob others of what they can experience through our gifts and talents.


My latest book, The Way Back from Loss is available in multiple formats from Amazon and other fine book sellers.

[1] F. B. Meyer, Through the Bible Day by Day: A Devotional Commentary, (American Sunday School Union, 1914), e-Sword edition

[2] John Stott, Problems of Christian Leadership, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2014), e-Book edition

[3] Gordon MacKenzie, Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace, (New York: Viking, 1996), 53


One Response to “Staying in the Orbit of Your Creativity”

  1. Sharon says:

    What an excellent article! Your points ring true for me.

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