Author Robert Fritz, in his book The Path of Least Resistance, offers what the publisher calls “a revolutionary program for creating anything, from a functional kitchen to a computer program, to a work of art.” Fritz demonstrates that all of us have the innate power to create. Until I read his book I would have seriously doubted this particular claim since I thought creativity was almost always limited to rare individual with unique skills and insights.
Fritz believes that we can discover functional steps of creating. (I shared these several days ago.) The important thing is that we see the importance of creating what you truly love and then learn to focus on the creative process. This is what can move us from where we are to where we want to be. This process is not mystical or magical.
Using as an analogy the scientific principle that energy follows the path of least resistance, Fritz writes an easily assimilated self-help book which argues that just as wind moves around natural obstructions, seeking the path of least resistance, so we will attempt to move around the various structures of our lives–getting by with as few hassles as possible. Fritz’s overarching advice is to modify these structures, enabling the creative energy within us to flourish instead of dissipate. The focus of his book is clear but, as I’ve indicated, his excess verbiage makes the book rather tedious at points. I found this extremely frustrating so I began to read whole sections quickly grasping his central idea easily without reading all his words. Having said this I found the orientation of this book immensely important for my vision of teaching missional-ecumenism to a new generation of leaders. My dream is to empower younger leaders to pursue a new expression of the church that is nothing short of post-denominational.
In light of my experience as a creator I have learned a great deal from Fritz as my posts have indicated this week. One example provides some sense when he writes that “people with strong beliefs in a conceptual framework of reality often interpret reality to fit their biases. Those who have strong political views often interpret reality to reinforce their political explanation of the world” (149).
If this is true politically then it is also true religiously. This is why very conservative and very liberal Christians both have a very hard time seeing how things can change in a significant way. They both have a built-in bias about what is “good” and “bad” and who the good guys and bad guys are in a particular situation. This blinds them (me/us) to the other, the person(s) who can make a huge difference in the life system that we call the congregation/church.
“When conceptual views of reality bias reality, it is difficult to discover what is going on. Skeptics, fundamentalists, romantics, extremists, racists, idealists, and so on, may misread or misinterpret facts to reinforce their viewpoint of the world. This makes it difficult to include in their perception facts that contradict their theory” (150).
When you examine reality with a bias then you generally find what you expect to find and are unable to create anything truly new. How do we avoid this problem, especially inside the church and church-related missions? We must “begin freshly with the notion that