“. . . you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.” . . . “Well done, good and faithful servant.” – Matthew 25:20,21
Until I read Julia Cameron’s classic book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, my long-held belief had been that creativity was limited to those we often think of as “real artists” – painters, sculptors, writers, musicians, and the like. It never occurred to me that we are all creative. But as Julia Cameron explains, if we are in fact created in the image of the Creator then it stands to reason that we too are creators. In other words, we are all endowed with the gift of creativity in some form.
In the “Parable of the Talents” Jesus tells of a wealthy man who went away on a journey. In his absence he entrusted his financial assets (talents) with three managers. To one he entrusted five “talents”, to another two, and to the third one. After his return he called upon his managers for an accounting. The manager who had been entrusted with five talents as well as the manager with two had each doubled his money during his absence for which the wealthy master was extremely pleased. But the third man had not bothered to invest the money at all with which he’d been entrusted, but instead had hidden it away. For that the master was not only disappointed but furious.
I’ve often wondered why the master was so angry; after all he got his money back in full, which seems better than losing it. Right? Disappointing perhaps, but to be furious? Then several years ago I began to study Julia Cameron’s works and that’s when the parable started to make sense to me; that is, we too have been entrusted with certain gifts, talents, or resources with which we can either choose to invest in the good work of God’s Kingdom or hide it away, the equivalent of squandering.
Sometimes we define creativity too narrowly, confining it to only that small chosen group of “real artists.” But in reality, everything we do requires creative choices. God has given each of us some special unique creative ability and entrusted us to invest it wisely. As Julia Cameron says, “The Great Creator has gifted us with creativity. Our gift back is our use of it.” So, how are you investing what’s been entrusted to you? It is a question I find myself wrestling with every single day.