Every day we’re tasked in some way to be Creative on Demand, and it usually comes in the form of a question. It may be the boss asking for an update on a project that we don’t quite have together yet, or a caller asking about that reptile festival they heard on-air. Usually we’re taken aback as we search the hidden places of our brains for where we know we stored the answer.
Jesus did this in Matthew 16:13 when He asked his disciples “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Can’t you picture James, John, and Bartholomew hemming and hawing, like a classroom that’s not sure if the teacher has asked a trick question?
Then Creativity on Demand bursts forth….
DISCIPLES: “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets!”
JESUS: “What? Where’d the idea that I’m a dead guy come back to life come from?”
(Actually, Jesus didn’t say that, but it’s fun to imagine He might have thought it).
Isn’t it interesting that the disciples all said Jesus was a resurrected prophet? That’s a peculiar paradigm to go to. Someone said: “you’re a prophet raised from the dead, Jesus,” and then group think took over. Like we see in a meeting when the boss says an idea and all the rest of us say “yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket!”
But then, Jesus asked again. This time to Peter:
JESUS: “But who do you say that I am?”
I can almost see Peter’s wheels turning, as he realizes:
PETER: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Peter changed paradigms. He turned from the disciples “dead guy raised” model, to the true model, which is: “Jesus as the exalted and anointed one.” He stopped looking back to the prophets, and instead looked forward to God. And he got praised by Jesus because Jesus knew that it was God who brought Peter that idea.
Oh, but then skip ahead four verses to Matthew 16:21 and what do we see?
JESUS: “I’m going to Jerusalem to be killed and then resurrected.”
PETER: “OH NO YOU’RE NOT!!”
Jesus was like “yeah, I am God,” and since I am, I can also be like the “dead guy raised,” so get with the plan, Peter.
(I just love Peter’s back and forths. Jesus built His church on this guy with the mish-mashed mind. …A guy like me!)
The whole disciple crew were kind of mish-mashed too. First, they were for sure that Jesus was a resurrected prophet, and now they’re kind of upset at Him when He says He’s going to be a resurrected prophet. Funny stuff.
My point is this: God doesn’t always stick to the paradigms we think He going to stick to. However, you and I do. Why? It’s because we’re afraid when our creativity gets put on demand. C.O.D. goes back to the familiar and easy and safe. When someone asks us “what are we going to do at the radio station this month” this is what happens:
BRAIN: “Warning, I’m being asked to do something creative on demand. Start the sweat glands! Search the files!” Then we blurt out “World’s Biggest Baby Shower” because it’s all we can think of – plus that other station did it.
We also don’t like C.O.D. because we’re afraid to go first. We don’t want to be shot down, or rebuked, or place our puppy of an idea in front of a pack of wolves.
So, here’s a thought: Next time you’re in a meeting figuring out the next big station idea, start with a little fun. Don’t be afraid of something absurd. Realize that the first idea out of your mouth probably won’t be used, but it will give you a way to start the ball rolling. Embrace the creativity, and don’t stress the “on demand” part.
You may find those first ideas may be as bizarre as a resurrected prophet, but you may also find that they have just the inkling of truth that you need.