I want to push you, gently but sure.
Not in the way that bruises knees and pride but in the way a mama bird nudges her lovies out of the nest. She knows they’re capable of doing so much more, that they only need a little encouragement. Mama knows they’ll soon find out she wasn’t being mean after all, that she just wanted them to experience Great Things, Wide Open Spaces . . . and what they were designed to do.
And it hits me, that in this nudging, mothers share a kinship with God (though mamas push and God “pulls”). Isn’t it when we seek God and walk in obedience that we discover our calling and begin to live with passion and purpose?
It slays me to know I’m created in the image of God; I can barely think on it. I don’t think it’s possible to comprehend fully all it means.
If we’re called to be imitators of Christ, to look like the One whose image we bear, what does that mean? What are the first qualities that come to your mind? To love lavishly and without condition? To forgive freely even when you’ve been wronged? To serve sacrificially and to consider others’ preferences above your own?
There’s another attribute of God I’d like us to consider together: creativity.
Your potential to create.
God’s creative nature is revealed from the moment we open a Bible.
“In the beginning God created . . .” (Genesis 1:1)
Then, a few verses later, He describes the creation of man: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness . . . ” and then how He fulfills it: “So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God . . .” (Genesis 1:26-27).
Because we’re created in the image of God Himself, we’re inherently creative.
Don Miller says it this way:
If I have a hope, it’s that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.
~ Don Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, pp. 59
As one year ends and a new one begins, it’s natural for us look at where we’ve been and where we’re headed. We set goals, we make resolutions, or we keep it simple and choose one word to frame the coming year.
Beyond any resolution, goal, or word for the new year, my challenge to you (and myself) is a simple one: to make space for creativity. Creativity is not reserved for artists and makers alone; remember, we’re all Creatives by design.
Don’t impose limitations on yourself by limiting your definition of creativity. Beyond paint on canvas, there are countless ways to tap into your creative side. Your interests, talents, and/or passions are the perfect place to start. Author Mary Lou Cook says it this way, “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” Let’s not make the simple complex.
We are living art when we’re doing what we’re created to do.
God created us, called our creation good, and made us unique. It is no small thing that no one who’s lived past, present, or future can impact the world the way that only you can. And stop that comparison game right now. It doesn’t matter the size of your impact, because you, my dear sisters are making an impact. Which reminds me of a thought I shared years ago here on (in)courage —
Some of us will make tiny ripples and others will send waves crashing, but each one will forever change the surface of the water.
We need what only you have to offer this great big ol’ world of ours.
You will find a certain satisfaction when you create something. I’d venture to say you will find a kinship with God when you sense what you’ve created is good.
Whether stitching something lovely or beautifying your home; baking a special treat or making an entire meal; experimenting with hand-lettering or crafting jewelry or gardening or writing or whatever. From within your comfort zone, or stretching beyond your natural gifts to learn something new.
Will you promise just to try?
We’re almost at the end of 2017 . . . we’re almost to the beginning of a new year.
For the glory of God, let’s make something beautiful.