In a huff of tiredness, I slumped back in my seat and noticed the name of the exit road from the Rec Center. Recreation drive. I chuckled to myself, “couldn’t they come up with something a little more original? Surely we can be more creative than that.”
And then it hit me. I looked at the sign again. Recreation Drive. Recreation. Re-Creation. I saw the word in a whole new light. The word Recreation, broken down, is simply re-creation.
Thankfully no one was around, so I was saved the embarrassment of this late discovery. The light quickly changed and I accelerated slowly ahead, watching the revelatory sign disappear out of the top of my windshield. As I drove towards home, my tired feelings mysteriously left me, and the wheels in my head began to spin. This was so cool, I thought.
I began to think about God as the creator, and what a important part of his image that is. An important part that is often sadly overlooked. When I read at the Bible, I can’t help but believe that God’s creative nature is one of the most dominant and important attributes of His character. Otherwise, why would His first act as the God of the Bible be to create? Creation is what God starts with, therefore to create must be an integral part of who He is.
This is hard for many people to accept because not everyone thinks of themselves as a creative being. Not everyone thinks of himself or herself as an “artist”. I’m supposed to be created in the image of God, but I don’t have a creative bone in my body. To write, or to sing, or to sculpt is not my thing. But to think of art and creation simply in terms of how the world describes them is to rob the words of their true meaning.
On the other hand, something that most people find easy to accept is that we as humans need play. From our earliest age we find we need a release from the stress of day-to-day life. We need physical activity after sitting at a desk all day, we need to head out to the backyard and play catch, or ride a bike, or simply stand on the porch and chat. It is culturally accepted that it’s better to get up and take a walk, rather than to sit on the coach and eat potato chips. We call this physical activity, play, or in more technical terms, recreation. But if we break down that word into it’s two parts, we get re-creation, and we begin to see that our need for play is something that has been inbred into our souls, because it is within our moments of play, that we begin to reflect the image of God most strongly.
If God is a creator, and creation is His first act, then what could be more honoring to God than for His sons and daughters to engage in the act of creation?
When God first created the heavens and the earth, He created light, and stars, and plants, and humans. These are physical things, with physical limitations. But go one level deeper and you will see that God not only created the physical world, but the potential world. In creating light, he created the potential to see and experience beauty. In creating plants, he created the potential to breath oxygen and be given life. In creating man and women, he created the potential for relationship and for love. The potential world has no boundaries, not limitations.
Creation is not about the act of creating something physical. It is about all the potential for good that lies within that physical creation. God placed a desire inside of us for play. And when we as children of God begin to fulfill our need for recreation, we begin to harness and experience all the potential goodness of God’s original creation. We are re-creating what God has already put in place, and in doing so, we begin to live a life without boundaries, without limitations.
To be a creative being does not require ‘talent’ or ‘training’ or ‘artistry’. To be a creative being requires that you answer the call deep inside that says, “Come out and play. Come out and engage in the re-creation of laughter, of joy, and of light. Come and experience the world without limits.”