How to get in the flow

roaring-rapidsYou know those times when you’re in a conversation and the next day in the shower you think of exactly the right thing you should have said? Happens to me all the time.

Last Saturday I was on a panel at the Richmond International Film Festival’s “Flow” conference. The question put to us was, “How do you get back into the creative flow when you’re stuck?” I think I blathered something inane about taking a walk. What I should have said is, “I pray.”

In our film, SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL, Brother Bob Cross confesses, “The only time I know what I’m doing is when I’m telling God I don’t know what I’m doing.” That has been my experience; especially over the last several years as I’ve been working on the film. I’m often stuck. And the cure has always been to place it in God’s hands and trust Him for the solution.

Sounds like a cliché, I know. But it is the best way I can describe my experience.

I’ve been looking back through my journal. It is filled with confessions of inadequacy… pleading for inspiration and guidance… begging for help when I can’t seem to go on… and then evidence of God’s provision.

The term “flow” is a good one to describe the experience. Please pardon the well-worn analogy, but it’s like I’m in God’s river of life. There are whirlpools on the side where I can get pulled into self-centered distraction. And obstacles like tree branches along the riverbank can snag and prevent me from moving downstream. I ask God to keep me in the center of the stream’s flow. Then I wait… listen… relax… and release. I trust that He is God and I am not. He created me and loves me. He will provide… in His own time and in His own way.

If I am humble and honest enough to confess that I don’t have the answers, ask God to take control, and patiently wait & listen, He speaks. It is often through gentle nudges, scripture passages, and written or spoken words from fellow travelers. He shows me where to put down the oar. He gives me the strength to paddle on.

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