Creative Faith-Based Conversations for Thanksgiving, Part 3

(This is the third in a series of four posts.  See the original post here.)

3. Third, the friends: On Thanksgiving Day families typically spend time together sharing a feast.  But when family time is over, there a ton of leftovers.

What if you had a “Leftover Feast” with the friends that you would consider your Christian community?  Allowing your kids to see people besides your family that honor God and offer thanks to Him during this holiday will only reinforce the spiritual significance of it.  Besides, you’ll get to eat more Turkey.

 


This was originally posted as a blog post I wrote for parentministry.net and can be found here: http://parentministry.net/2014/11/4-creative-faith-based-conversations-for-thanksgiving/

Creative: Make the Ordinary Unusual

Not too long ago, I sat in an airport and looked up at a row of clocks on the wall much like those in the photo here.

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(Photo taken by Marilyn M.  Originally posted here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moomoo/1689209721/)

An idea had its seeds planted with that sight.

When I was younger, I watched the movie Dead Poets Society, where Mr. Keating challenged me to look with a new perspective.  Although I have climbed up on some desks to look at rooms differently, I now take this concept into everyday life.

A few years ago, a speaker talking about creativity challenged us to inspire creativity by finding unusual ways of doing ordinary things.  For example, if you normally drive the same route to work, take a different route.  (I did this one day and ended up driving around for over an hour!  That drive is still in my memory as I wandered and saw things I never normally see.)

Both of these concepts came together with the clocks.  As I sat there, I wondered how fun it could be to have a wall of clocks with fictional locations.

That idea sat in my OmniFocus app from April to July.  Then I prepared for a Wacky Weekend with the 5th-8th graders at my church and it resurfaced.  I used GroupMe to message a few of my friends in FourFiveSix for their favorite fictional locations, without giving them any explanation or context.

I then found six analog clocks at Target that were all the same style, with different colors for their case and hands.  I put each clock on a music stand on stage with a fictional location label for each.  In a room where students had recently pointed out that has no clock, we now had six!

When that weekend finished, I decided to let that creative, fun idea live on . . . in my office.  So, I now have my wall of clocks featuring fictional locations.  And most people who come in the room and hear all six clocks ticking away the seconds, do a double-take as they look up at the wall and see the labels.  I guarantee it inspires creativity!

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One more thing . . . I always loved when Steve Jobs would say those three magic words in a presentation.  He had saved something good for last.  I’m all about the fun of having fictional clocks for creativity, turning something ordinary into something unusual.  But these also have a practical use.

Although you can’t see it in the picture, and most probably don’t notice when they visit my office, each fictional location also represents a real location where I have friends or family.  When I’m sending a message or making a call, I need to remember what time it is for those in each location.  In my mind, I know what each represents.  But for the careful observer, that is easy for anyone to see . . . like a hidden scene after the end of credits in movies.

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So I leave you with this question: How can you foster creativity by making the ordinary unusual?