Creativity: Begin with What’s There

When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” . . . Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

—John 2:3, 7–10

We don’t create something out of thin air; we begin with what we have. Could Jesus have simply made jars of wine appear at the wedding?We assume that he could have provided wine however he chose.He chose to take what was present—water—and create wine from that. On another occasion, when he fed thousands of people, he began with five loaves and two fishes that were on hand.

We can find encouragement in these examples of Jesus’ “creative” work. Like him, we can begin with what we have. What the Holy Spirit guides us to do with it—that’s the creative part.

What is your creative work, and what do you have to start with?

Lord Jesus, show me what I already have; may I work with you to create what that material will become.

from “small simple ways: an Ignatian daybook for healthy spiritual living” by Vinita Hampton Wright, Loyola Press