Friday, February 12, 2010
Creativity, as God's work
I have long held the belief - as strong a belief as any I have - that creativity is God's work. When we seek to know God through His word, our first glimpse of Him is as a creator. And when man is created, it is noted that he is made in God's image. We are then also to be creators. To ignore the gift of creativity in ourselves is to ignore God in us.
Creative venues - Art, if you will - have much too long been in the hands of those who do not acknowledge the Spirit's collaboration in their work. Creative gifts were once encouraged in churches and by those who wanted to see those gifts used by God's people. But in the last several centuries, it was somehow determined that those gifts were not Godly enough, or that the products of those gifts encouraged idolatry. For whatever reason, the arts have long been discouraged or, at best ignored, by many churches and religious institutions and leaders. Theaters, movies, music, visual art, and literature is now much less in the hands of those who seek Godly collaboration than it is in the hands of the secular world.
But creative work as the work of God is far from dead. I believe "God's word," or the inspired words of God are continuing to be written by many fine writers who seek His inspiration. And we have seen several movies recently that clearly show God's involvement in their creation.
We are all born with a Creator - the creative form of God - in us. I just have to watch my grandchildren paint and color with joyful abandon to see this truth. The challenge is to get our own egos out of the way and to let our acquired skills and our desire to create become vessels for the voice of God. The first step, I think, is to let go of the idea that the art we make is "our work" and to embrace the image of it as the work of God.
To this end, I have been reading and studying and praying about what it means to be a creative Christian. What does God want me to do with the desire to create that He has given me? How can I use the talents, gifts, and skills He has given me for His good? Why has He made me an artist, instead of making me a more 'useful' tool? And, perhaps the most difficult question of all, do I need to know the answers to all these questions or the outcomes of the work I do to fulfill the purpose He has created me for?
To be continued, I am sure....