“The more you’re like yourself the less you’re like others. You’re not alive unless you’re creating.” — Walt Disney

Genesis 1
Genesis 5:1-3
Ephesians 2:1-10 (esp. 10)

The Bible begins with creation. God creates something from nothing and transforms void into vastness.  Light differentiates from darkness. Land separates from the sea. Trees, plants and animals are given life and placed in the newness newly created.

Then God crafts his most artistic work, man. He sculpts the form and imbues a specific gift and unique purpose: creativity and the ability to create. He allows man to give birth, both to offspring and also to ideas. While man cannot imitate God in the creation of something from nothing, he can create something from something.

He thus becomes artist and co-creator with God.

It’s scary to admit that you’re an artist: to reveal yourself as a singer, a writer, a poet, a musician. The natural reaction of fear always persists. Draw, sing, write, compose or perform for us. People demand a show of something tangible, and the pressure ensues to please them.

We prefer to slink into predefined roles of rote routine and definable ends. We prefer to hide and resist our calling to create, afraid to find we have nothing to show, afraid others will disapprove of our art and consequently disapprove of us.

Creating requires effort. Creating requires dedication. Creating requires unswerving focus through a long, demanding process.

Beethoven, although deaf, composed symphonies in an unlikely way. He cut the legs off his piano and felt the reverberations of each note on the ground.  Annie Dillard wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel locked in a cabin living off chocolate and Coke. Michelangelo painted the masterful ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by laying on his back for days, paint falling on his face, on a shaky scaffolding high aloft.

These masters gave themselves to their purpose. They physically suffered for the creation of something beautiful, something unheard, unread, undiscovered, before they themselves produced it.

Creating requires effort.

I know when I am creating. And I know when I am imitating. I know the difference between something original and something copied both in my writing and in myself.

God created me to create.

He created me with a desire to make something, something as definable as art or something as intangible as a friendship. He created me to know myself and to know him through this outward manifestation of my internal self. 

But this scares me. 

Knowing God feels like unmapped terrain or uncharted waters. To know myself signifies the release of control over what I may discover. I may travel places, in my life and in my heart, where the end proves unseen. I may discover … no … I will most certainly discover that I am unique. Yet in this uniqueness I am just like everybody else in his or her own inexplicable uniqueness.

I am created to create. I am born to live. I am called to live a purpose out of my unique gifts and talents. Will I?

What does it mean to create in your life?
What fears hold you back?
What are we supposed to create? How?


© 2006