I am convinced that we all have the capacity to engage our right (more creative) and left (more intellectual) brain, that we are all both creative and intelligent. It can be a tension to reconcile paint brushes with Pythagoras theorem or cake baking with data mining but the tension between creativity and intelligence is one with great reward.
My family moved from London to Sydney when I was 5 years old. In the blink of an eye a wild, curly haired English girl found herself in a classroom where she was 6 months younger than everybody else. In primary school, I don’t remember ever consciously thinking, “I am not smart” but I do remember showing my mum numerous paintings (which covered the kitchen table almost constantly) and being less inclined to complete my ‘dyslexia homework activities’ or reveal my less than impressive spelling tests. Creating numerous imaginary worlds to play in, I pursued creativity and neglected academics.
Flash forward six years, when my family moved to Brisbane, maths text books somehow became respite from bullying and the craft box no longer made an appearance. Focusing my energy on academic endeavours, I slowly ignored my creative outlets. It wasn’t until I was half way through a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (try saying that fast) that prided itself on being inspired by Oxford and Cambridge that I found myself frustrated, crying out to God and confused at the sight of doors that never seemed to open.
“You are creative.” I remember God so vividly speaking those words over my life like a title being written on a novel. Confused at how a degree in politics, philosophy and economics had anything to do with being creative, I surrendered to God and accepted that although I didn’t fully understand what ‘being creative’ meant, it felt freeing.
I don’t know where the belief came from, but for years I had swung like a pendulum from one extreme to another, believing that I had to choose creativity or intelligence. It’s heart breaking to get to your twenties before realising you’ve robbed yourself of the freedom to live in the grey and be both, accepting the tension that creative-intelligence can produce.
I have become convinced that we are all creative and intelligent. It can be a tension to reconcile paint brushes with Pythagoras theorem or cake baking (#pinterestgoals) with data mining. Or maybe just maybe the tension is that to live a life of creative-intelligence is to accept that you will create something that has never been done before and that there will be no patent to follow and the only instructions you’ll have, although beautiful, will be found in the Bible.
There are 4 things I’ve noticed that happen when we ignore the tension to harness creative-intelligence.
1. We find ourselves choosing between the two instead of trying to reconcile the tension.
2. We do an injustice to our intelligence when we exclude creativity.
We limit our creativity by isolating it from intelligence. Can you imagine if modern medicine had never had creativity to lead innovations? Can you imagine if those in the health industry further harnessed their creativity? Game changing.
3. We withhold solutions and beauty from others and, collectively, the world.
Our creativity isn’t about us, nor is our intelligence, so when we opt out of reconciling the tension we opt out of opportunities to love and serve others.
4. We settle, not fulfilling our potential.
I love what it says in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God, in his creative nature, created us but he also planned good works for us. He planned with strategic intent that we too would create with intention and diligence.
Creativity and intelligence aren’t just gifts we are endowed, they are valuable commodities we must harness. You don’t just have the potential to be creative and intelligent, you were designed to reflect the creativity and intelligence of God. The question is, will you embrace the tension and find out what creative-intelligence looks like in your world?
About Isabella Jensen-Fielding
Isabella is a passionate communicator, she delights in sharing her personal revelation of Jesus and the invitations held within the Bible.
Familiar with change, Isabella was born in London, before moving to sunny Sydney and later, both Brisbane and Canberra. While living in the nation’s capital, she oversaw the youth department at her local C3 Church, completed a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics and started her career working as a management consultant.
Most recently, Isabella has moved to Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Currently attending C3 Oxford Falls, she has joined the brilliant youth team and is pursuing creative endeavours while relishing the chance to learn how to surf. Isabella’s ideal rest involves a fresh pot of tea with her journal and pen at hand, Chai tea anyone?