Creation sometimes takes my breath away. The beauty of a sunrise or sunset; the rugged mountain ranges; the green grass on a wide open plain; the crashing waves against the seashore: all are scenes that reveal more to me about God. Have you ever thought of how God could have chosen to make everything the same- the same flat ground, the same shade of green, the same look of a person? Yet, He didn’t. In His design and planning, He fashioned the world we live in with beauty, vibrancy and difference. From the antelope to the Rainbow Lorikeet, God has given everything different characteristics that make that species unique.
Lately, I have been thinking lots about creativity. Spurred on by reading a book about living a creative life last year, I have been thinking about how creativity delights me. Have you ever watched a child in the midst of creating? With abandonment, they enjoy the process of using materials to make something. As we age though, we seem to lose some of this enjoyment- we often become fearful about how something will be received, or live such full lives we don’t have time to enjoy the process. We also start categorising creativity to purely be ‘artistic’ creativity and say we are creative if we can draw or paint or sew.
Last week, I was listening to a talk at our local mother’s group on how creativity is the act of using our imagination to make something. Instead of asking ‘are you creative?’ we should be asking, ‘how are you creative?’ Creativity can be shown through a gardener cultivating a garden, an accountant putting together a spreadsheet, a mother organising her home, a person selecting an outfit from their closet, a couple planning a holiday, a father cooking his family a meal. You see, we are created in the image of God and the God we serve is a creative God. He made the world with a breath, He carefully sculpted man out of dust and then fashioned woman from a rib. He also made atoms and molecules to react and spun the earth at the exact distance from the sun for life. God’s creativity is expressed in so many forms and we, as His image-bearers, reflect the brilliance of this diversity.
When discussing creation or creativity with those who do not know nor delight in this creative God whom we serve, it becomes obvious that Satan uses creativity to get our eyes, minds and hearts off God. In Romans 1:25 we read, “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” This is a very real temptation. As we enjoy the process of creativity in whatever form that connects with us, we can become consumed with what we are making, rather than the God whom we are to glorify.
Of the greatest display of creativity that God models to us, is the creativity God shows in conforming us more to the likeness of His Son. In our sinful state, God saves through Jesus. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, God sets to work, refining us. He then has planned for us good works that glorify Him. Ephesians 2:10 says, “10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Doesn’t that delight you- we are His workmanship!
God invites us in to live a creative life, all the while He is creatively fashioning us, working on us, refining us. As we gain enjoyment from creating, so He can be glorified through His handiwork. As I gain enjoyment from trying a new recipe, gathering things my family needs from the shops, organising our budget or creating a handmade card, I can thank God for His creative work in and through me. I can worship the creative God and I can enjoy the good works He leads me in, glorifying Him through my delighting in Him. I also can be thankful that He saves and He fashions so that one day, I will be able to glorify Him face-to-face.