And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. – Genesis 1 : 31
During my years in high school, and on into my first few years of autonomy, i remember awakening to a certain set of distinct feelings. It is not unlike what i imagine all people go through at this age. We are discovering ourselves, our capabilities, formulating relationships and philosophies that will stick with us for long years, and we begin for the first time to believe and feel and opine original material. We grow certain of what had never occasioned passing thought before, and unsure of what we had historically accepted as true. We question, adapt, defend, publicize, express, become.
Though i had always been impetuous and headstrong as a child, i had also been an exceptional student. But during this time, as more romantic ideologies emerged and took root in my heart, i was no longer able to see the need for diligence in my studies. Eventually the only paths i could imagine myself taking were those of the artists: the musicians, the actors, the writers, the filmmakers. i wanted to make people smile, make people cry. i wanted to force people to encounter fierce and inescapable beauty, make them have to fight it off like swarms of insects, leave them no choice but to battle into it and through it as though walking into a cataclysmic headwind. And you can’t study how to do that, so i thought.
The disconnect was this: somewhere along the way, social convention and fragmented perception taught me to see artistic impulses like these as dramatically different than more pragmatic interests, like the drive to excel at math, or sports, or business, or public service, or even homemaking. But i have since come to believe that all of these drives are actually sourced in the same fundamental need that no human can escape: the need to create. Granted, it is so much more obvious when it looks like artistry, but all of these exploits are, in a way, the act of creation. The only difference lies in what is being created. Wealth. Philosophies. Athletic spectacle. Families. Legacies. No matter what burns in us, it is always the fire of creation: what are we going to leave behind that was not here before?
Genesis 1 tells us a great deal about how the physical realm was created, and about what objects were placed in it, and in what time frame it was done. The one thing it doesn’t tell us is why. However it does tell us also that man was created in His image. So when we look inside ourselves and find that we have an insatiable need to make, to discover, to create, i think that tells us that a similar love of the new exists in our Perfect Father. He just is a Creator. It is in His identity. He has likewise burned it into ours, and we must assume this was not done by accident.
This is why we need to listen to this urge, and find out how to apply it in such a way that after we have done so the world is enriched. The danger is obvious here: we must make sure not to merely build Babels for our own legacy, and in so doing misapply or waste this drive, but rather whatever we do build must be built for the glory of the Original Creator. When we are doing this, when we are making, and when what we are making is, in fact, good, we are accessing the very image of God in our being. In these moments, we are communing with Him in a way that nothing but the act of creation can provide. And that, i think, is what worship is.
Maybe all of that is just the romantic in me.
But i don’t think so.
Guess that’s why i’m writing it down.