Hope and Creativity

Hope and Creativity

Thursday, 4 May 2017  | Brad - MS Coordinator
In January of this year, my wife Anna, our 13-month-old son Sammy, and I caught the train into the city to eat some lunch, do a bit of shopping, check out some comic shops, and enjoy each other’s company.

We spent some time wandering around Flinders St, Elizabeth St, Collins St, and Queen St, looking for a restaurant that captured our eye and was somewhat pram accessible - an important consideration in our current stage of life! Not really finding anything, we made our way up Bourke St and turned down Hardware Lane to see what we could find. Ultimately, we came across a burger place that checked the right boxes and sat down to our meal.

Feeling satisfied with the food and the conversation, we paid our bill, loaded up the pram, and headed back towards Bourke St. As we walked, we took in our surroundings: the bricks underfoot, the trees, the canopies and pedestrians and buildings; the combination of history and modernity. It was a lovely day.

As we reached the intersection, however, a maroon blur flashed by on the far side of the road, sending numerous people flying into the air. The moments that followed seemed to pass in slow motion as we tried to make sense of what we’d just seen:
    That was a car...
    It was going really fast...
    It was driving along the footpath...
    And it was hitting people.

Anna and I stood in shock of what had just happened. We’d been walking up that footpath less than an hour earlier. Some people ran across the road to give aid to those who had been hit. Some people cried. Some people talked about terrorism, while others asked how something like this could happen.

In watching the news, reading the newspaper, or scrolling through a Facebook feed, we seem to be bombarded with stories of violence, hatred, and fear: war in Syria, escalating tension between North Korea and the United States, terrorist attacks in France, unrest in Turkey. The prevalence of such stories can easily leave one with a sense of defeat, despair, and utter hopelessness. That is why, as an unashamedly Christian school, it is so important that we offer our students a different story, a counter-cultural story. A story brimming with hope and creativity.

Creativity is a frequently misunderstood concept and we are often far too reductive in its usage. We limit the concept to things we can do, things we can make: writing poems, building furniture, cooking meals. True, these things are all products of creativity, but what is the essence of creativity? What is it at its core?

Creativity is the ability to see things not just as are they are now, but the way they could be. It is the ability to see beyond the external and peer into inherent potential. It is the ability to look at a blank page and see the potential for a sonnet, to look at a pile of lumber and see the potential for a coffee table, to look at a range of ingredients and see the potential for a delicious lasagne.

Yes, the world is imperfect. Yes, there is evil in the world. There is violence and hatred and greed. We will endure pain and hardship and loss. But that is not the sum total of our existence. There is beauty in the world. There is love and awe and wonder. There is goodness. God placed it in our world as part of His original design and He invites us to seek it out and bring it to the attention of others for His glory.

Romans 5:2b-4 (NIV) sums it up like this:
“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

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