The first words of the first book of the Bible are, “In the beginning, God created…” God’s first act was to create. He created many wonders: heaven, earth, light, night, and all creatures that roam earth and sky ~ but that wasn’t enough creating ~ so God created humankind. And the first thing that God said after creating humankind was, “Be fruitful and multiply.” So God wanted those that he created to go and create! Ours is a creative God, and we are a very creative people.
But we need to be vigilant to stay in touch with our creative selves. I told one of my children that we were going to an art museum and he innocently asked, “Why should I go to an art museum when I can watch television?” I replied, “You need to go to an art museum to learn the difference between art and entertainment. Art feeds, elevates, inspires, transforms, and brings you closer to your own soul. Entertainment distracts, numbs, and drains you. Its like sugar that gives you a temporary feeling of fullness by making you think that you have ingested something substantial.”
You can see what happens to people who lose touch with their creativity. They are blank-faced people. Have you ever looked at someone’s face while they are watching television, bathed in blue light? Their stare is blank and expressionless. On the other hand, have you ever noticed the face of someone watching live theater, a concert or studying at a painting? Entertainment leads us to distraction, art leads us to God.
Worship is art. Creative expressions in worship deliver us up to the place where the Holy Spirit can touch us at a very deep level, a place where worship becomes creative and spontaneous. Love is art. The giving and receiving of love is the ultimate expression of our creative selves. The music we make, the dances we dance, the gardens we tend, the paintings we paint (even during worship), the meals we cook for those we care about, the visits we make to those who are home-bound, the support we offer to the ministries in which we believe ~ the list of our creativity is endless. Each day of our life is an opportunity for spiritual growth through creative expression. As we create, we grow along spiritual lines an move ever-closer to the creator, whose most creative act of all was the creation of you.
Dwight Lee Wolter is the pastor of the Congregational Church of Patchogue on Long Island, New York, and the author of several books. He blogs at dwightleewolter.com