make sure you check it out on YouTube before you read this post:
The metaphors used in the opening pages of the Bible stretch across the entirety of both testaments. In the story of the Israelites, we read about God bringing order out of the chaos in the lives of ex-slaves wandering through the desert, just as He did in the beginning of time. In John 1, the word becomes flesh and is given as the light of the world; in the beginning, with four words, God brings light into the world. The constant battle of light versus dark, water, fruit, mountains, valleys, every biblical metaphor out there can somehow be traced back to the words of the creation poem. It’s about much more than famous words or hard facts or biology versus creationism. More importantly, this passage speaks directly to the heart of what it means to be human.
We see the opening lines are not written in prose, but much like the Psalms, which were all meant to be songs, it is written in verse. This suggests to me that the writer, however the knowledge came, through divine intervention or whatever, clearly understands that the process of the formation of the world was a divinely creative, or dare I say “artistic”, process. Why else would it have been written as a poem?
It is from within this creative process that man and woman are first formed. (verse 26) And, as the text informs us, they are formed in the image and likeness of God, a God who chooses to reveal himself first and foremost as a creative being. How then can we not draw the conclusion that all humans are, among other things, inherently creative creations?
Now I know I just made a lot of academics extremely angry. Please know, I am not suggesting that everyone is an “artist” in the tradition sense of the word. I am suggesting that there is not only room to create in all people, but also a call to create, and that our definitions of creativity and art are far too limiting. I heard a definition of art the other day that for the first time didn’t sound completely pretentious.
“Brilliant art takes something that you think you know and puts a new light, a new perspective, a new lens on it.” –Joel Clark
So perhaps the truth is that many people who maybe would not consider themselves “artists” create art everyday, they just call it something different. Some people call it innovation; some call it leadership, some teaching, some serving, and some even science. To limit creativity to what the world defines as “artistic mediums” is to limit the potential for innovation in the world. And looking at Clark’s definition, we could argue that all art at its most profound form is simply innovation, in all areas. God makes this clear with the things he chooses to create. For example, he creates light, which is a beautiful thing that artists have tried to capture in photos and paintings and other artistic mediums for thousands of years. But it is also an extremely scientific thing that inventors and academics have tried to creatively harness and use for the betterment of society.
I do not mean to undervalue the potential for innovation through artistic mediums. As made clear by the gifts used in making the video, the heart of Anima is using artistic creativity to help convey the power and truth of God’s Spirit in our lives. It’s not just pretty fluff. But we would never seek to limit where or how human creativity can take place, after all, God’s first creative work was creating a whole universe. How could we ever seek to put him in a box that only painters and singers and poets are allowed into?
All of creation is a two-sided coin, bursting with both “artistic” beauty and the potential for creative innovation.
So wherever you are, trust that God wants to use you in a creative way, to advance your business, your family, your church, or your school into a brighter future. He wants to use you to help bring order out of the chaos. He wants to use your gifts, no matter how seemingly uncreative they may be, to help bring light into darkness. He wants to use you to communicate his love and goodness to the world.
The world needs innovation. And innovation requires creativity. Creativity is not only important, but it is central to what it means to be made in the image of God. The potential for creativity, not matter how it is expressed has been placed inside each and every one of us. We have the potential and the call to create. Therefore we have the potential for innovation, for revolution, to change the world.