A Friend of Jesus
IN THE BEGINNING
Updated: Dec 31, 2021
The Wonder of Creation
As creative beings do you ever wonder where that creativity came from? Animals aren't creative. They don't invent things, they do the same thing over and over again. Their lives don't include art, technology, or musical instruments. Yes, there are amazing things in nature that many would see as artistic or ingenious or even melodious, however those aren't things that the creatures designed themselves. If they were then there would be different honeycomb shapes, different spider web configurations, and the cicada song in New York City would have heavy bass element that made the neighbors complain.
I heard this song on the way home from work the other day. It is one that I really love. In particular the words talking about creation. "As you speak, a hundred million creatures catch their breath."
That thought makes me take a deep breath every time I hear it sung. 6 days to create everything in this universe! It takes me hours just to create a piece of art sometimes. I've worked on paintings for days. Crafting projects for weeks. None of what I have done is that impressive. Imagine the vastness of this universe spoken into existence in days. There are no words to express the wonder and awe of it all.
When I was listening to this song I remembered John chapter 1. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." This is talking about Jesus. John's gospel's emphasis was on the Deity of Christ. How appropriate that he begins by telling us that Jesus is the Creator.
I got one of those vivid images of Jesus. I've been so busy lately that I haven't had my Imagine Jesus moments. This one was clear and strong and gave me God-bumps. I Imagined Jesus showing me how He created the Universe. His hand was on my shoulder and He was pointing out to the vast emptiness and then He spoke. The most beautiful colors appeared and the shapes were amazing. He looked at me and said, "your turn." I wondered was he talking about now, or is this what heaven will be like? Will I spend time learning how to create amazing things like Jesus did? Was He telling me that I was created to be creative and now is the time to fulfill that purpose?
I've always been a creative person. My happiest times have been when I've just been allowed to make a creative mess with paint. The last few months I've felt very stifled in the creative aspect of my life. So much so that when a friend sent me a job opportunity I turned down the chance to apply because I no longer believe that I can do it. That prompted me to write this today. I'm wondering, how can I have this passion for creating and yet be so insecure in who I was meant to be?
I've taken the day off of work. I'm overwhelmed by the day to day of a job that I'm not particularly fond of. It isn't what I feel that I am called to do, but it is where God has me for the moment. Today I just needed a break. I've been working so much overtime that I don't feel I get a weekend or time to breath and just quiet my heart. The stress of it all makes me emotionally exhausted. I work in the evenings and on Saturdays. I can totally see why God rested on the 7th day.
I miss my Imagine Jesus moments. I don't know that you miss them, too. Sometimes we just need to return to the quietness of those moments so we can experience them again and be who we were called to be.
The following is a story that has been developing in my mind for a few weeks. I hope you enjoy it.
There was once a very skilled carpenter. He built things out of wood. One day he built a table. The table was sturdy and he took the utmost care in every detail. He finished the table late one night and went to bed.
The table sat in the middle of the room. As tables do he started to notice that he wasn't alone. On the wall there was a shelf. The shelf was beautifully carved and stained a rich dark stain. It was hung high and looked amazing on the wall. On the shelf sat a candle, a few cherished books, and a beautiful glass vase filled with colorful flowers. The table looked at the shelf and was envious.
"I want to be a beautiful shelf on the wall, where things can be displayed and enjoyed. I am much larger than that tiny shelf. He could put more beautiful things on me than he can on that shelf."
The table looked around and discovered that there were a couple of hooks on the wall. He had a thought. "If I could hang myself on those hooks, the carpenter would see how much better I would look as a shelf." It took the table all night, but he succeeded in hanging himself on the wall. He wasn't comfortable there, but he held on for as long as he could. He heard the carpenter coming down the stairs just as he was starting to slip off the hooks. The carpenter came around the corner in time to see the table come crashing down to the floor.
"What on earth are you doing?" The carpenter exclaimed.
The table realized the carpenter wasn't happy and tried to explain, "I thought if you saw me hanging on the wall, you would realize that I would make a great shelf. I'm much bigger than that tiny shelf there and you could put more things on me."
"Silly table. I created you for a bigger purpose."
Just then there was a knock at the door. The carpenter put the table back in the middle of the room. "You will see what you were created for in just a minute. Be patient."
The table watched as the carpenter went to the door. When he opened the door a family walked in. He gave them each a hug and welcomed them into his home. As the morning went on the carpenter put chairs around the table and the family sat down. The table started feeling warm and welcomed as everyone talked and laughed. The carpenter made breakfast and they all sat together for a long time gathered around the table.
When the family left the carpenter said, "do you see now that you have a greater purpose? I needed a table so that I could feed my friends. I will need you for many such meals because people will always need to eat, and I plan to feed them all. The shelf is beautiful, but I can't sit with my friends around a shelf. All we can do is admire it. It is not really all that useful."
The table realized just how special he was, and he never tried to hang himself on the wall again. Every knock on the door was another family needing the touch of the carpenter, a touch that the table knew would make them happy and their lives full.
Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Romans 9:20-21 "But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?"