The Genesis of Creation
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)
During a recent reading of the book of Genesis , I was struck by the beautiful poetry of this first act of Creation, what the Bible revealed of the creative process and the encouragement it presents to faith-based artists, designers, writers, creatives and really, anyone on the threshold of a major endeavor.
What follows are a few observations:
At first, the work will be without form and void. When God first created the earth, it was dark, and without form and void - much like many of our own beginnings as creators. For those discouraged by an emerging reality that doesn't line up with the vision in your head, remember this. It will not look as it should, on the first day. It is not supposed to, because...
Creation is iterative. God kept improving upon His work. He kept evaluating what would make this new earth better—whether light or seas or grass or creatures. In anything you build, expect to make successive improvements. To add new details to a character you're fleshing out, to incorporate a fresh layer of paint, to include an inspired new riff, to make it better through careful consideration.
Speak life. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. (Gen. 1:3). He created the world He envisioned by speaking it into existence. Sure, it isn't as easy for us mortals. But know that your words have power and wield it well.
Bless the work of your hands. And God saw the light, that it was good. (Gen 1:4). God always looked favorably upon His creation. Each time He stepped back to evaluate it, He pronounced it good. God blessed the work of His hands. By comparison, we often doubt and disparage the outcome of our hard work and in so doing, negate the beauty and wonder in the creative process. Instead, for a change, pronounce it good. It may not be there yet, but honor the work as it stands.
Let what you create reflect you. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness (Gen 1:26). God's creation said something about Him. It mirrored the Creator. This is perhaps the best antidote to the crushing poison of the inauthentic. Do not worry about creating something that will impress another or mimicking anyone else's style. Create something in your likeness, as only you can. Anything less and it will not be the highest expression of your truth.
Do it with purpose. In the Genesis account, creation had a purpose - whether to be fruitful and multiple, to fill the waters, or to have dominion. Every element was part of a broader ecosystem, each with a highly complementary purpose.
Rest when you're done. This should be familiar one to anyone in Christian circles. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. (Gen 2:2) If even God rested from His creative act, who are we to toil away without respite?