by Derek Martin
August 9, 2016
5 min read
I’ve officially gone into project mode. I recently moved into a new home that has escalated this project mode in me to a whole new level. Since I’ve been living in Vancouver, I’ve only lived in apartments. Although there is nothing wrong with apartments, I find they lack some of the freedoms necessary for unbridled creativity. You have to be careful about noise, painting walls or hanging pictures up can be a pain. In Vancouver, affordable apartments run on the small side. The house I live in now is a five bedroom Vancouver Special with a large deck and so much 70’s aesthetic that it could rival the Brady Bunch house. Even living with four other guys, it’s a perfect place to be able to practice music and create things, and I’ve been blessed with the privilege of being able to live in it.
I’ve been thinking for a bit on why making things is meaningful to so many people. From art to cooking, from carpentry to 3D printing, why do we feel the need to start something? To create something? To restore something? Is there a larger idea at play in the way we feel about making and doing? Here are some ideas to chew on with your brainmouths.
God is the ultimate creator, and we are made in His image.
For thousands of years, human beings have been creating things. From primitive shelters and campfires to technology of all kinds, from art and music to films, to meals–we create. It is an innate desire in all of humanity that we got from God all the way back when He created the world and everything in it. In the creation story of Genesis, God says “Let us make man in our own image…” This is one of the only times in scripture where God refers to Himself in the plural form! Just like sons and daughters inherit genetic traits from their earthly mothers and fathers, we inherit qualities from our Father in heaven. We hold God’s image inside of us, and through what we create, we can point back to and glorify our Father
God didn’t make robots in a robot world.
Another reason I think projects are awesome is because God didn’t create us as boring robots in a robot world. This world we live in wasn’t created to be merely a utilitarian world. God created the beauty we see in creation around us. Vancouver is a brilliant place to live because we have access to some of the world’s most beautiful natural spots. Outside of my house are some rose bushes that have seen better days, but despite their scraggly appearance, there is one beautiful pink rose blooming in all its glory. Though I didn’t create this rose, I believe God did for me because God knew it would be beautiful to my eyes. What we create can take notes from the beauty of this rose. Art, music, relationships, anything that we have a hand in creating or setting a trajectory to can reflect beauty. God can use the beauty of our work to reflect the beauty of Himself to others.
From creation to the fall to redemption to today in your life, God’s project is nothing short of restoration and renewal of all things.
Our projects give us a glimpse of God’s Project.
Since there is no perfection this side of heaven, when we create something, it is not perfect. There are songwriters who live their lives thinking their songs are never finished. No matter how beautiful or amazing a piece of pottery is, it will have imperfections. However, it still has aesthetic appeal, and it holds water or food. We still see beauty in it, and we still see it as useful. This is the way that God sees us. No matter how messed up we are, no matter how many times we fail at being who God wants us to be, no matter how far away we run from God, He is constant, and He is waiting for us to see ourselves the way that He sees us. Beautiful and useful.
God’s story is filled with stories of people creating. God uses His people as agents of change in His world. In Exodus 31:1-5 it says:
The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.
In this story, God is claiming direct responsibility and care over the art, craft, and work of someone he called by name. I’m willing to bet he makes the same call and claim in your life.
Think about this as you’re cooking dinner, or working in your yard, or painting, or writing poetry. All of our crafts can be used to point others to the God that loves them more than they know. Are you willing to let Him use your project to complete His project? From creation to the fall to redemption to today in your life, God’s project is nothing short of restoration and renewal of all things. With that in mind, it’s worth being project people because the world needs to see how amazing God truly is.