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I Was Born Under a Wandering Star

Do you have highly creative friends that are capable of imaginative perceptions?  The folks that God gifted to see what the average person does not see in a landscape?  Or,what about the person that develops a tool that is perfect for a job’s function? Or, the writer, composer, or inventor?  What a great contribution they make to every facet of life.  How much poorer we would be were it not for the artists, authors, and amazing visionaries that have made life so full and wonderful!

Recently, I read an article about “The Components of Creativity”.  I guess I had never analyzed the process, but it was a most interesting description of tracking the creative person’s concept to its reality.  Here were the seven components…

  1. Imagination and Originality – Imagine and explore original ideas.
  2. Flexibility– maintain openness to unique and novel experiences.
  3. Decision making – make thoughtful choices that support creative efforts.
  4. Communication and Self-Expression – Communicate ideas and true self with confidence.
  5. Motivation– Demonstrate internal motivation to achieve a meaningful goal.
  6. Collaboration– Develop social skills that foster creative team work.
  7. Action and Movement – Boost creative potential through physical activity. Taken from: https://creativitycatapult.org/about-us/7-components-of-creativity/.

It is true that most of our most creative moments are when we are resting from our jobs or tasks that require maximum attention. When the restraints of absolute focus and concentration of a task are loosed, our brains have a way of re-routing our thoughts toward new solutions, new insights, and new ideas. It is in the cessation of the ”tyranny of the urgent” that we can experience the thrill of a great idea!

One of the words we use for “aimless” wandering is “meandering”.  What many of us don’t know is that the term “meander”comes from a river in Turkey called “Menderes River”.  It has many twists and turns along its course.  From that pattern of a river flowing in a way that seems to be “aimless” , we took the name of that river to speak of folks that are “prone to wander” in speech, thoughts, and tasks in a days’time.

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright once told of an incident that may have seemed insignificant at the time but had a profound influence on the rest of his life. The winter he was 9 years old, he went walking across a snow-covered field with his reserved, no-nonsense uncle. As the two of them reached the far end of the field, his uncle stopped him. He pointed out his own tracks in the snow, straight and true as an arrow’s flight, and then young Frank’s tracks meandering all over the field.

“Notice how your tracks wander aimlessly from the fence to the cattle to the woods and back again,” his uncle said. “And see how my tracks aim directly to my goal. There is an important lesson in that.”

Years later the world-famous architect liked to tell how this experience had greatly contributed to his philosophy in life. “I determined right then,” he’d say with a twinkle in his eye, “not to miss most things in life, as my uncle had.”  (Copied). 

In other words, meanderer’s take time to enjoy the journey!  Solomon spoke as a pragmatist in his writing of Ecclesiastes.  He expressed cynical thoughts about “meandering”….It is better to focus on what you can see than to meander after your self-interest; this also is pointless and a chasing after wind.  (Ecclesiastes 6:9). Maybe you are not really “wandering” …. you are being creative!