Where Does Creativity Come From?

What is your calling?

You know you are called when that desire to do something you are not doing keeps poking you at odd moments or for entire days. When around others who are at one with their callings and are actively engaged in them you feel convicted, bitter or jealous.

Where do callings come from?

If not from an intelligent being then where or how or why do callings come at all? A calling doesn’t feel like a figment of imagination, does it? If, like honey bees, we have evolved to have special roles it’s pretty amazing that evolution would take into account the role of hairdressers, baseball players and novelists.

I’ve read about many writers who’ve said that they were compelled to write. Like Jonah who fled from his calling only to be swallowed by a great fish, I refused my calling for many long years despite knowing of its existence. The tug was there, the self-reproach and misery, yet still I hid.

When you flee a calling all else that you do has a tinge of mediocrity about it, a veil colors all of life even if others praise you for talents that you deep-down know are counterfeit callings. As a teacher I was stung after a convincing sermon on my part about fearless writing when a ten-year-old student asked, “Why don’t you go and write?”

I see all of life as a redemptive tapestry with each thread as beautiful as the next. I didn’t always see it that way. I saw my thread as weak and unimportant before I embraced the calling — where it suddenly didn’t matter anymore if mine was the weakest thread  as long as I was a part of the inspired whole.

“Imagination may be the hardest work of the human mind. And perhaps the most God-like. It is the closest we get to creation out of nothing. When we try to express beautiful truth, we must think of a pattern of words, perhaps a poem. We must conceive something that has never existed before and does not now exist in any human mind. We must think of an analogy or metaphor or illustration which has no present existence. The imagination must exert itself to see it in the mind when it is not there. We must create word combinations, and music, and visual forms that have never existed before. All of this we do, because we are like God and because he is infinitely worthy of ever-new verbal, musical, and visual expressions.”  John Piper

So are callings real?

Are they just rationalized excuses for doing what you’re doing?

Are they just coded worker bee impulses?

Is not following a calling a sin?

Are we afraid to follow because we’d rather do our own lesser thing?

Do we think our one small life makes no difference?

Let me know your thoughts on callings in the comments!




“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

13 responses to “Where Does Creativity Come From?”

  1. I enjoyed this post, Adrienne. I’m not sure if I’ve ever thought of my writing as a “calling” but I do know what has happened with my writing over the past few years has definitely been all God. He’s put story into my heart and I simply transfer them on the page. By the way, I love the photo of the goat!


  2. One of the problems with creativity in any field is dealing with those who feel that any effort must result in a monetary outcome. I think creativity must result in the journey of the work – all else is commentary. This was an absorbing post, Adrienne, with much pleasure in reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you enjoyed it. Definitely if it’s a calling an artist or healer or whatever is compelled to do the work once they get a taste for it. Unfortunately there are people who are swayed by well-meaning (or jealous) types who like to point out the odds of making a fortune or being “successful.”

      I like money but I’d do what I do for free (I mostly have! LOL).


  3. Adrienne, it is with great pleasure I read this post of yours. It is clear and
    challenges the foundation of why and what we do when we write, paint, sculpt or pursue any art.
    I haven’t thought of calling it a calling but I can see what you mean.
    It certainly started very oddly for me. I was on the phone with a friend who asked me a question. I had to tell her I will call back but not why.
    Quickly I got hold of a pen and paper and wrote down what poured forth
    without haven used any conscious thought. That was my first poem.



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