I just finished a fascinating book called Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. I found it on the New York Times Bestseller list a week ago and couldn’t put it down. I was drawn by the interesting stories about artists, writers, musicians and inventors as well as the idea of how the brain works to produce creative “aha” moments.
A lot of what we do in Crossing Kids is creative in nature. We create our own lessons for kids to learn about Jesus. For instance, we are writing all our own curriculum from ages one to 4th grade. We also work together as a team to create family events and our very own Kids Club from scratch. As I was reading this book, I couldn’t help but think of how so much of what he is saying is what we do every week as a staff team. Not only our staff but also a lot of our volunteers “create”. We have many who write, act, teach and develop ideas into powerful moments for kids and families to learn about Jesus.
So although this book is not about God in any way, I couldn’t stop thinking about God and how he created our brains to work. I was struck by the unique way God has designed our minds to work and/or not work when we are faced with a problem that we need to solve or with a lesson that we need to write. These are verses that came to my mind as I was reading:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things,
and by your will they were created and have their being.”
If you are looking for an interesting read for the summer, I would highly recommend this book. Our Crossing Kids staff team will be reading and discussing it, so we invite you as parents and volunteers to join us. I think there are a lot of ways this book would apply to our parenting as well as our time with kids in the classroom. You may even find some insight that will help you with your daily work/career.
Here is a short video that introduces the book as well as a short quote from the book sleeve.
“Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few. It’s a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively.
Lehrer reveals the importance of embracing the rut, thinking like a child, daydreaming productively, and adopting an outsider’s perspective (travel helps). He unveils the optimal mix of old and new partners in any creative collaboration and explains why criticism is essential to the process. Then he zooms out to show how we can make our neighborhoods more vibrant, our companies more productive, and our schools more effective.”