CHAPTER FIVE: Songs, Poems, Books Or Engines Of Work?
Songs, Poems, Books Or Engines Of Work?
Creativity and inventions are spiritual pursuits. This implies that these things could be immaterial, intangible or imperceptible, therefore, in order to produce any tangible value or profit, there must be a channel or avenue for the expression of the creativity within. There must be a physical medium through which your creativity and inventiveness are expressed.
Every human being possesses some creative energy that is dissipated every single day. This innate creative energy is expressed in various forms and the means of expression will largely depend on the individual.
In order to explain this concept, let us now examine three different biblical characters and the mode of expression of their creativity and inventiveness. I wish to begin with the records of King Solomon’s prosperity and wisdom as documented in the biblical book of 1 Kings 4: 29 – 34:
“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom”. 1 Kings 4:29-34 (KJV)
King Solomon was recorded to be wise and very knowledgeable, they reported that his wisdom was the highest and greatest in his days, his knowledge was as vast as the sands of the seashore.
As I read that portion of the scripture, I muttered a quiet enquiry under my breath: “where are his inventions?” I demanded to know. King Solomon might have 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs recorded to his name, but I want to believe that he was able to channel his creativity and inventiveness to much more than that. I cannot shake off the feeling that he might have invented some cunning device or so.
King David, who happens to be King Solomon’s father, seemed to imply that he invented a musical instrument if you consider 1 Chronicles 23: 5. This is not such a surprise when you consider the fact that King David is nearly synonymous with singing praises and dancing unto the Lord.
We also have some info about King Uzziah (his life and tragic end are duly documented in 2 Chronicles 26), he was said to have gotten some inventors (also rendered in various translations as engineers, cunning men or experts) to build some weapons for his army as he waged wars against his enemies.
We have three different kings and three different dimensions of application of their creativity and inventiveness. All the proverbs, songs and all the acts of King Solomon simply flowed out of his creative and inventive spirit. I am convinced he did so much more with his wisdom and knowledge beyond what was documented.
This is because I know for a fact that God doesn’t just grant us knowledge for knowledge sake. Knowledge is in itself useless, unless it is been spontaneously applied simultaneously to solve problems in the society. If you consider yourself knowledgeable and cannot identify areas you can apply the knowledge, then that knowledge is useless.
It is not about what you know or the capacity you have developed, it is also about what you are able to make of it. There are many ways by which we can express our creativity and invention. You can write a song, compose a new poem, write a book or develop “engines of work”. When I say engines of work, in my mind, I am also thinking of software, apps, widgets or gadgets that help us increase our work output and productivity.
The above is not by any means an exhaustive list of every available means of expression of creativity or inventiveness. Things like writing a movie script or inventing a recipe for a new kind of food (or even perfecting an already existing recipe) all belong on the list as well.
Two things you need to understand: everybody already has some creative energy, and it is already been expressed physically every single day.
You might not be feeling inventive, and while I have been asserting throughout this discourse that you do possess inventive powers already and have access to an immense source of creativity and inventiveness, you might still have some trouble believing it. The problem is that we have been blinded to this aspect of our existence for too long.
What is closer to the truth is that whether you are composing songs or poems or writing a movie script or building some new engine, you are been inventive. Which means that:
If you have ever composed a song or poem, you were been creative and inventive.
If you have ever thought you could tweak a movie you saw and make the plot work better, you were been creative and inventive.
If you have ever thought about writing a book of any kind, it was your creative and inventive powers at work.
If you have ever taken an idea from a different field and tweaked it a bit to fit into your own situation, you were been creative.
If you have ever used some gadget to perform a different function from what it was initially designed for, that is creativity. All your attempts to “improvise” are expressions of creativity and inventiveness.
If you have ever thought about how you could improve some food recipe, playing around with the normal and established recipe a bit, that is creativity and inventiveness.
You can never completely use up your creativity and inventiveness, in fact, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. The first time you execute a task, you might perform badly or poorly, but if you commit to the rigours of excellence and continuous improvement, you find yourself becoming really proficient in that task.
The real reason you might not readily accept or identify your creative and inventive powers are because you have likely been scammed, bullied or even educated out of it. All those times you were commanded to shut up and comply with existing rules, something was suppressed within you and eventually died out. All those times you were told that you were not good enough, you suppressed it some more.
Your creative senses have been dulled and now in need of a wake-up call. I genuinely hope this book provides that wake-up call for you.
“The creative adult is the child who survived after the world tried killing them, making them grown up. The creative adult is the child who survived the blandness of schooling, the unhelpful words of bad teachers, and the nay-saying ways of the world. The creative adult is in essence simply that, a child.” – Julian F. Fleron
Another reason why your true creative and inventive nature might have been suppressed is because of corruption. When we are bogged down by moral decay, rottenness, lust and greed, we lose out on our original inventive nature. If you are primarily driven by greed and lust, it is hard for you to truly become creative.
It is a well-known fact that greed kills true art. Inventors and true Creatives are marked out by love, honesty and integrity; they are visionary and passionate people who seemingly can do no wrong.
When we negate the effects of all the above mentioned—inferiority complex, corruption of the human soul, cumulative effects of many years of suppressing it—we find our creativity and inventiveness blossoming. It becomes a question of how do we express our creativity and inventiveness?
I know a lot of people have already been able to easily flex their creative and inventive muscles in the arena of music composition, fashion designing and poetry, but few dare to dig deeper within themselves to see how they could invent some new technique that could greatly improve some process they are already used to.
The big step is to embrace the fact that you are creative and that God can seed the gem of an idea into your mind. When you embrace that fact, a new kind of awareness radiates from your innermost being and there will be a new audacity of thought. Such audacity could be fuelled by the knowledge that “whatsoever is born of God can overcome the world”, provided you have that kind of faith.
With much practise of expressing your creativity, you will teach your creativity and inventiveness to become more assertive and domineering in your daily walk. Expressions of your creativity soon becomes part and parcel of you.
Why do visions die out and never see the light of the day? Countless men have seen visions of some gadget, device, building or software they could build, but it never sees the light of the day. They possess inventive thoughts, but somehow, they are not able to transform those thoughts into reality.
I have already tried my best possible at this time to explain that anybody who can believe this message of creativity and invention can tap into their inventive nature, but then even if everybody believes these things, our manifestations will be different because of the amount of knowledge we have.
The operations of the Holy Ghost in your life is limited by the amount of information you have access to and that’s why Apostle Peter wrote to early Christians and advised that in addition to faith and virtue (power, capacity for work), they should add “knowledge” to it.
I have heard bible scholars argue that the word rendered as knowledge in that verse (The book of 2 Peter 1:5) would be more accurately rendered as science. Knowledge is general, science is more specific and defined.
So, what will determine whether you will invent songs, poems, books, new scientific theories, gadgets, devices, widgets, vehicles, planes or engines for work is the kind of knowledge and science you are feeding your mind with.
That is why anybody that is nursing some visionary pursuits must pray for wisdom, you must understand that the change you want to effect, the task you wish to complete will not happen by some magic, but rather through the application of certain principles that make things work.
If expressions of your creativity and inventiveness will find deep and vast applications, you must of a necessity understand the connection between divine visions, faith and true knowledge. You must understand that different forms of knowledge (arts, crafts, sciences etc.) originate from the same Almighty God. You must disabuse your mind of the religious thought that the Bible contains ALL of God’s knowledge; that religious thought is barbaric and very far from the true nature of knowledge.
You can express the same creative idea in different dimensions. You can express yourself with a poem or song. If you develop your mind further and hone your story-telling skills, perhaps your creative spirit would find expression with a movie.
If you submit to the rigours of training and imbibe the scientific method, you would have empowered yourself to think with a completely different framework – a framework that creates and analyses the world around you. And so, beyond inventing poems and stories, you could add a scientific theorem to your list. If you want to invent physical devices, engines or tools, you would need to seek out corresponding knowledge that would make that happen.
Becoming Creative, unleashing our inventions upon the world requires that we study, and constantly acquire information about our areas of study and work. Most creative people are also voracious readers. They consume an insane amount of information.
Lowell Wood, probably the most prolific inventor alive with 1,761 patents to his name (as of August 21, 2018), still reads a lot of books, especially scientific journals every day. He is around eighty years old and he broke Thomas Edison’s record number of patents in 2015. So, you want to be creative? Are you ready to invest quality time into developing your mind?
A creative spirit tethered to a mediocre mind cannot conceive any creative idea.
I believe that creative ideas automatically surface when you add knowledge, information and skills to a “correct” spirit. The quality of your mind is important. You want to ensure you read wide and be well informed on latest facts and information. Most innovation occurs when we import ideas from one profession or industry into another. Innovation occurs when ideas overlap; the more knowledge you have, the better.
You cannot just develop faith and virtue when you want to build out a vision, you must seek out knowledge and pursue science. You must feed your mind with knowledge so that you can better process the creative and inventive insights coming your way.
Excellence, If Not Now, When?
I have observed a growing set of people who say they are committed to excellence. Trying to achieve the best possible result every time. However, I also observed that even though they say they want excellence, the final result is not so impressive.
It then dawned on me that they might have excellence in their Spirit, but they lack the knowledge and patience to get it done.
They lack the knowledge to do it excellently.
They lack the patience to either learn how to do it excellently themselves or find really capable hands.
It does not matter how grand the ideas God planted inside your spirit are, if you lack the intellectual framework needed to work it out in the physical universe, it’s still useless. You end up building “a lizard”, even though the picture inside your spirit is “an alligator!”
When we receive ideas from on high, sometimes it requires us having to learn and learn and listen and listen before we can then really be ready to build. Noah could only finish building his ark after so many years.
Have you ever wondered what took him so long?
We however have to consider that if Noah didn’t allow the excellence inside his spirit to find complete expression, he would have built a boat, not an ark, and that would have meant he would have also perished with the others even though he had enough insights, ideas and concepts to survive.
I believe it took him so long because he probably did not have a large work team (who would believe him enough to work with him?) and also because he had to do it well, ensuring the physical ark was as excellent as the one he saw in his spirit.
Getting the idea is hard work if you are truly an original thinker. But you cannot stop there, you have to build the intellectual framework that can build it out excellently. Don’t let excellence just be on your lips only, get on the road, learn! Let the vision in your spirit match what you are building physically all the time.
The reality is that we channel our creative energy every day, expressing it in different forms. Just that a lot of times, it is not concentrated enough to make an impact. If you will come up with a brilliant idea that is actually impactful, you must have that persistent concentration upon the things that actually matters.
Your energy will always follow your attention, if your attention is divided, your energy also becomes divided and you lose your ability to make an impact. If you must express your innate creativity and inventiveness, you should practise the habit of taking out time to think, ponder and meditate on issues.
You have to believe that if given sufficient time and resources, you can solve any problem. Indeed, there is no problem that can withstand a bombardment of thoughts. If you can concentrate and think about it, you can experience a breakthrough thought that would make all the difference.
The challenge here is that today’s world is also a very distracting world. The proliferation of digital platforms have made it possible to become constantly distracted, round the clock. When you team that up with our natural biological tendency to take the path of least resistance at all times, you realise why majority of the population might never focus enough to invent or explore their creativity. Our natural, undisciplined mind and body would prefer to scroll through some app’s newsfeed (or stories), rather than probe deeper into effective completion of some task.
Not because they do not have the spirit or energy that can invent, but because they are too distracted to birth anything new. You are not likely to come up with inventive ideas if you are distracted every fifteen minutes. These days, I have to physically lock up my smartphones in a cabinet or spare room while I work on my projects. It is just too distracting for me to get any serious work done.
Digital platforms like social media are a necessary evil, however, we must develop the necessary discipline and learn how to derive maximum value from those platforms. The gem that can seed an inventive idea in your mind can be slippery and things like that require persistent concentration. Once you permit your train of thought to be hijacked even for no more than five minutes, that moment is gone, and it adds up in the long run.
I since developed a simple social media policy: when someone makes a post that declares boldly that 1+1 = 15, I do not get into the comments to list out why the person might be wrong, I realise that is a grand waste of time and so, my policy is to say “okay” in my mind and move on. My comments won’t make them change their mind, neither will the ensuing argument. It all goes away in a few minutes when the next thing trends, the attention span is so short these days.
When you engage in such arguments, you will gain temporary satisfaction from the dopamine release that comes from being visible, but you have lost out on conserving your energy on tasks that deliver real value and pay-off in the long term. Within a thirty day cycle, you could have made anything from ten to fifty-five posts on your favourite social media platform OR you could have invested the same amount of attention and energy into things like writing some five to eleven chapters of that book you have always wanted to write.
When you get busy with serious things of life, you will lose the time, attention and energy you used to invest in things that had no long-term purpose or eternal value to you. I once counselled a young woman that wanted to embrace inventiveness to go on a three day silent retreat; no phone calls, no digital platforms, no TV or social media of any kind. That is how to train your mind to focus your creative energy enough in order to become more expressive of creativity and inventiveness.
So, right now, the word of God has come to you, God is not a respecter of person, these things can become a reality in your life. What is actually happening is that we are going to look deep into ourselves, CONCENTRATE and decide we want to do serious things with our innate creative powers.
I feel it is time to apply Divine Intelligence, unravel the mysteries of nature and build technological marvels unlike anything we’ve ever dreamt of. I am looking at a thousand inventions from our community and how we can totally transform and impact a thousand industries across the world. I think that if you can drive what God has put in your spirit, you can forever change the history of the world.