I went to art school in college and messes were effectively encouraged in the studio. I remember throwing damp clay around like paint on a Pollock painting to create texture on a piece of art I had created one day. However, even after all the fun was over, our professors would make us clean the art studio and our art tools every single time. We aimed to leave the spaces better than we found them.
It makes sense, though, doesn’t it? Us students didn’t want to leave the burden of our own mess on someone else. And we didn’t want someone to do it back to us. Also, when we returned to the studio, we wanted to be able to find our art tools quickly so we could begin working right away. It’s ironic though, even amongst the most original and wildest art studios I have ever been a part of, orderliness was essential and strictly enforced.
Orderliness can sometimes be a scary concept. Sometimes it reminds us of how unclean our houses are, or if you are like me, orderliness can feel mundane and lifeless. But if you take a look at our lives, real freedom is only found in discipline. It's actually the cornerstone of real masterpieces. It was within the boundaries and confinement of a court where Kobe Bryant was allowed to become brilliant in the game of basketball.
In our day-to-day activities, this could not be truer. The good & small task of making our bed first thing when we wake up encourages us to do other good & small tasks throughout the day. These daily habits shape our lives and rid us of chaos and confusion. This, in turn, leaves a lot of room for real creativity: extraordinary events, ideas, projects, and memories.
We can also see undeniable proof of the beauty of orderliness in nature. If we were to walk through a forest, we don’t see messes and carelessness. We see gorgeous patterns, geometric shapes, and efficiency. Nature thrives from being orderly.
Orderliness puts the phrase “a creative mind is rarely tidy” to shame. There is a reason canvases are clean and blank. It is actually within a peaceful and harmonized state of mind that creativity will flow easily. We become free to become who God created us to be. Instead of going in circles, we are focused and purposeful, becoming the absolute best version of ourselves we can be.
Think and Pray
Maintaining order in our lives removes the distraction of searching for things we need, the prep time required to get started, and the confusion caused by not knowing the parameters we are to work within. It’s a skill that not only frees us to exercise our creativity, but simultaneously makes us more efficient in what we do.
Lord, help me see evidence of Your order in creation alongside Your extravagant creativity and beauty. Help me also to maintain order in my workspace and at home, that Your creativity and beauty would be free to flow through me as well. Amen.
Stephanie Corder is the Creative Director for Families of Character, an organization committed to providing families the best tools to make home the most loving and unified place for children to grow. To see other articles from Families of Character, visit www.familiesofcharacter.com.