Be honest, student, when was the last time you started an essay thinking, “How can I create like my Creator?”

And stressed-out Mom, when you did the kitchen makeover, did you once think, “I’m creating like my Creator”?

My muddy plumber friend, have you ever seen your daily work as a replay of Genesis 1, bringing light out of darkness, order out of disorder?

Inspiring teacher, do you know that you are creating like your Creator by spicing up your world history lessons with videos and group activities?

No, I didn’t think so. Creativity and innovation is for science labs, artists’ easels, and designers’ studios isn’t it? It’s got nothing to do with learning, organizing, draining, or teaching does it? It’s for Steve Jobs, Salvador Dali, and Coco Chanel, not students, Moms, plumbers and teachers isn’t it? It’s for the extraordinary; not us ordinary people, right?

Extraordinary calling for ordinary people
Wrong. No matter how ordinary we are, we all have an extraordinary calling to be creators. Our Creator created us like Him, and called us to create like Him in everyday life.

Every word we speak, every decision we make, every service we offer, and even every customer complaint presents us with a choice: create, status quo, or destroy? Make, maintain, or mutilate?

Just think about the next conversation you have. Each sentence is your creation. You decide whether to create it and how. Will it build up, destroy, or do nothing. Will it be positive or negative? Long or short? Loud or quiet? Angry or kind? Factual or figurative? The creative possibilities are endless.

Saucers, staplers, and screwdrivers
Even problems are creative opportunities, because every problem is overcome by creating a solution. Every item in your kitchen drawer, office cupboard, or tool box is the result of creative problem solving, usually by unknown ordinary people going about their ordinary everyday lives.

And yet we don’t often think like this do we?

And the main reason is we don’t know Genesis 1-2 well enough and the patterns it lays down for our everyday lives. I was struck by my own ignorance of this when I started reading secular books on creativity and began seeing how many of them unknowingly paralleled the creation account in Genesis 1-2. As the authors laid out their techniques and methods of creativity, I kept thinking, “That’s what God did. That’s what God’s like.”

When I went back and re-read Genesis 1-2, I began to see principles and practices of creativity that I had completely overlooked. When God created everything, He laid down patterns for His image-bearing creators living and working in His creation: planning, imagination, teamwork, initiative, action, organization, routine, focus, beauty, happiness, optimism, satisfaction, rest, and so on.

First question
That means the first question we need to ask in the morning is not “What will I do?” but “Who am I?” Or, even more accurately, “Whose am I?”

When we see ourselves, and help our children to see, that we are God’s creatures, made in His image to create like Him, we not only know who we are, we will also know what we should do, how we should do it, and why we are doing it.

All Christians believe in the truth of a Creator and do creative things. But we need to bring that truth and these practices together and to the front of our Christian minds. When we see our calling is to create like our Creator, we exalt Him in everything and also invest every activity with new significance, meaning, and even worship.

  • Catherine

    Thank you for this post! I am a young teacher and it was a great challenge and encouragement.

    • David Murray

      Delighted to spur you on, Catherine. Teaching has so many opportunities to be creative, but we tend to get stuck in the rut of how it was done in the past.

  • Tanya

    Once again, you are a big help! Perfect article to introduce my grade nines to the issue of creativity and the Creator. Looking forward to your book and hoping I’ll be able to use it as a text. :)

    • David Murray

      Thanks Tanya. You’re a great encouragement.