Every noon when I cover for Allison, our amazing administrative assistant, the 2nd graders coming in from recess always crowd around the desk and ask me to give them “the word of the day.” It is fun to opt for an obscure word that makes them think and encourages them to stretch their vocabulary. Today, right after they left the desk, someone lingering behind asked me something to which I responded, “we just have to be creageous!” Creageous! I accidently put two of my favorite words together. In the synapses of my brain, two colossal meanings came into being. Creative and courageous!! Why has no one ever coined the word that connects those two powerful ways of living?

Creageous. My word. A word I created to describe people who attack a problem with creativity and courage! I hope you immediately conjured in your mind such a person in your world, because creageous people are those who fill our world with hope. Who fill our world with possibility.

My sweet, delightful, peaceful mother used to LOVE watching the TV series, MacGyver. Remember that one? He was a genius working for a covert government agency to solve crimes without the usual lethal tactics. MacGyver was an example of my new word, creageous. He used courage and creativity to solve simple as well as monumental problems. This poses the question, if we just take a minute to gather creative ideas and garner within us the courage to enact those ideas, wouldn’t we be able to accomplish wonderful things?

I have always believed that if we change our words, we can change our world. Think about all the times in life when we could change a word to reverse a perspective. When my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, our family decided that instead of “getting through it,” we would “grow through it.” You change your words and thus change your world. It truly worked. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I practiced my death…seeing the “light,” seeing the funeral, discovering what would be the benefits of not having to open the daily paper only to discover the woes of the day. I found peace that became the “gift” of cancer. We change our words and thus change our world.

So, how can you use creageous in your life? For me, entering retirement is an optimum time to put that concept into action. I am retiring soon…and today the stock markets are deteriorating with the advent of the coronavirus that seems to be rampant in the world. What could that mean for our livelihood in retirement? A creageous attitude allows me to think of ideas and bravely go forward with confidence. Look at the creageous people who started this school. Someone once told me the first pastor was encouraged to start a school because the tuition would help pay for his salary. Courageous to start a church and creative to start the school…creageious!

Can creativity exist without courage? Yes. Can courage live without creativity? Yes. But, they flourish together. Together they change our worlds. Creageous, to me, is an extension of faith. Faith has to come first. So, look at your life…where do you need to be creageous? God is there already waiting for you to think differently and out of the box. Then God fills you with faith and ignites the courage within you to act. So go be it. Be creageous. And be ready to hear the footsteps of fear run into the darkness.