A Whack on the Side of the Head
Roger von Oech in his book “A Whack on the Side of the Head” teaches you to break the inertia and unlock your mind for innovative thinking; Another way of saying to think outside of the box.
Johann Gutenberg thought outside of the box. He connected two previously unconnected ideas to create a new innovation. He took the purpose of the winepress and combined it with the coin punch. Instead of metal being punched to make coins, paper was used and the printing press was born. Some have ranked this feat as the number one invention to impact the 20th century.
Unfortunately attitudes tend to block the sense of creativity, such attitudes as tradition, fear and perfectionism to name a few. They make thinking staid.
These attitudes become mental locks according to von Oech. He cites ten locks, which tend to keep us prisoners:
- The Right Answer
- That’s Not Logical
- Follow the Rules
- Be Practical
- Avoid Ambiguity
- To Err Is Wrong
- Play is Frivolous
- That’s Not My Area
- Don’t Be Foolish
- I’m Not Creative
These attitudes act like concrete, cementing or making rigid the thought processes. Nothing short of a whack on the side of the head can disrupt this thinking process.
When was the last time you had a creative original idea? Remember how great it felt, the idea not the whack?
There is a reason it felt so good. It’s all part of Gods blessing to us is to be creative.
(Courtesy Pastoral Care; Baptist Health System)
Now imagine this: here is some REAL “outside the box’ thinking. Ananias lives in Damascus, and is praying one day. He knows a real Pharisee of a Jew named Saul is coming to arrest belivers in Damascus. As he prays, the Lord speaks to him:
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13″Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Our God is the God of the impossible situation. Murderers are tansformed. Seas Part. Floodgates open, and Arks are built. The dead are raised, the sick are healed, demons are cast out, and sins are forgiven.
The Impossible situation becomes the possible; and all if we ask.