Consumer vs. Creator

I’ve been thinking about this post ever since I started this blog. I could never really wrap my head around what I wanted to say until just recently when I listened to a liturgical worship set from Willowcreek Chruch. The theme of the liturgy was creation and our place in God’s creation. This allowed me to synthesize a number of thoughts that were spinning about in my head into something that is hopefully coherent.

For a long time, I’ve been an avid consumer of content on the internet. The number of feeds or blogs I subscribe to in Google Reader is over 50. According to Google, since 2008, I have read over 150,000 articles from those 50 subscriptions. And that’s just from Google Reader, that number doesn’t take into account things posted to Facebook, Twitter, and all of the other websites that I frequent. You could say that I have a voracious appetite for web content, whether it’s a blog, news provider, or sports website.

A few months ago, when I started to think about beginning to write regularly, I couldn’t fully understand why I wanted to. I was a competent writer. I really enjoyed the one Creative Writing class I took in High School but I had been a history major in college and the majority of the writing I had done was analytical, certainly not narrative or expository. At some point, I started thinking about this blog and what I could contribute to a discussion instead of just consuming different parts of the discussion like I had been. Then I began to realize that my desire wasn’t just to write, but to create something, writing happened to be the medium for that creative desire.

I think this creative desire can be traced back to our Creator. We are made in God’s own image, and therefore we can say that we are creative because God is inherently creative. He delights in creative acts. “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good (Gen 1:31).” And since humanity is made in his image, we find fulfillment in participating in creational acts. We were never meant to be simple consumers in the Kingdom but co-creators with Him. Flipping the analogy upside down, Richard Rohr wrote concerning God’s nature, “If we are created in the image and likeness of God, then whatever good, true, or beautiful things we can say about humanity or creation we can say of God exponentially. God is the beauty of creation and humanity multiplied to the infinite power.”

Creation is a courageous act. Instead of safely acting as a consumer, I have decided to put myself, my opinions, my creations out into the public sphere. The things I write on this blog are out there for others to deride, criticize, praise, and share. Through this creational process, I am willingly becoming more transparent, not in an effort to glorify myself, but as a result of acts and thoughts that hopefully glorify God and his creativity.

Just the other day at work, I was trying to synthesize the major aspects of an after school program I’ve been designing into something that could be simply explained and easily digested. Explaining these various aspects verbally was becoming too hard for us to wrap our minds around. I decided to try and design a visual concept map to help us envision this program. Creating that concept map was probably one of the most rewarding and fun experiences I’ve had at work in a long time. I think that process, and this blog, reveals the creativity that is fundamental to my identity in Christ.

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