GOD INTRODUCES HIMSELF
“In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.” Genesis One:One
The most compelling story of all-time begins with this moment. What kind of story would begin this way? The first thing God wants us to know is that He is creative? A better opening would be discussing the supreme power of God, “In the beginning God reigned supreme.” Boom. Now you know He means business. Or to show the mercy of God, “In the beginning God was super nice.” Whew, now everyone will really like Him.
The Message version says it even better, “First this, God created the Heavens and the Earth–all you see and don’t see.”
I like to imagine it in a cinematic way. The camera pans up on a man in darkness, calmly he turns on a single light revealing an empty room. There is no canvas, paint, or fixtures. There is merely white walls with no texture or purpose. But this room has no idea what it is about to become. It is about to become the eternal focus of this man. Creating, restoring, moving through this room. Bringing life and purpose to a once void space. He begins by taking out his tools and fashioning elegant chandeliers to light the dim. Continuing, he sands down the floors to appeal to the softest touch, weaves rugs and constructs furniture allowing for conversation and rest. He paints murals of history and deep color on the once lifeless walls. His final touch is an archway that extends the full height of the room, opening up to the outside as a grand entrance. Inviting others to come and experience what he has created and congratulate him on his incredible accomplishment. This room was beautifully and perfectly crafted to reflect the carpenter that created it, and it shows.
We began this series because we needed to clarify our purpose as a creative company. This scripture has deeply inspired us over the years (it is where we got our name from after all), and so it seemed fitting to begin here. To understand why we should create, we need to understand why God creates. Looking at the first couple chapters of Genesis, I want to focus on a couple of things we discover about God and why He chose to create.
God chooses to show action, rather than definitions.
He wanted to show His great supremacy and mercy through the action of creation. If God were to say, "I can build a room, I am supreme" It does not bring Him the same glory as actually building the room and allowing us to discover it through profound revelation. He wants us to truly understand the level of His power through treacherous mountains and dangerous oceans. To sense His kindness in soft, sunlit fields.
God reveals himself, to us, through His creation.
A good friend of ours, Sam Mahlstadt, shares an experience he had years ago during an art class in college.
"I was at the University of Iowa studying non-fiction writing when I had a class on poetry. One writing assignment of the class was to visit the University of Iowa Museum of Art to observe and reflect on a piece of artwork.
The entire class was to be spent staring at a piece of art so I made my way to the museum and roamed around until I found a huge painting. I chose the painting mostly because of its sheer size. I knew I'd be able to use at least part of our hour looking at it, but also there were very comfortable chairs in front of it. The only chairs in the entire museum, so I plopped down in one of the cushy chairs and put my legs up and began to stare into the painting.
As I scanned the painting, I began to notice the beauty in the chaos and the detail in the seeming mess and I was quite taken by it all. Little did I know this was one of the most important pieces of modern American art. The painting was the famed Mural, by Jackson Pollock who is considered to be one of the most influential modern American artists.
What happened over the course of the hour as I look back on it was that I began to appreciate the artwork, and through that, I also formed a strange connection to a now deceased painter. As I began to appreciate his art, I began to appreciate him as an artist. In fact that's how I found out who created the painting...because I needed to find out who is this person behind the painting.”
God’s creation speaks about His character in ways that words never could, to give us a deep understanding of who God is. Instead of simply reading it, we sense it. As we see His art all around us, there is a yearning to know the Artist. God planned this, it was no accident.
God creates out of a desire for relationship.
Near the end of a week-long artistic saga, God creates man and puts him in Eden, the epicenter of his creation. He walks through nature and has conversation with him. He asks man to take part in his creation by having Adam name the animals. He then says that it is not good for man to be alone, so he creates woman.
I believe that this is a small insight into God’s heart. God didn’t want to be alone either. He wanted someone to know Him. I can imagine Him before His creating begins, desiring dialog with Adam. Wanting to sit down and eat the food of this garden with His people. From eternity past, we have been in the creative corners of God’s mind. Before there was time, God desired us.
You are not an afterthought. You are a main character.
God is folding your story into His. What a glorious God that He would desire His creation this way! That He would want us to take part in His narrative. To continue His creation, to show the nature of God through relationship and art. God put a desire in each of us to have this incredible adventure with Him, to act out an epic story that leaves us feeling fulfilled and changes the world.
How does this relate to One:One?
We have a bigger purpose in this life than to become famous, rich or remembered. Our duty as creatives is to partner with God. To usher in His Kingdom in a beautiful breathtaking way that causes hearts to change and lives to be transformed. To stir up a deep yearning in hearts for something greater, someone greater.
Every photo we take or video we piece together, we do so with God’s story in mind. Our art is put on display to show God and His deep desire for relationship with us.
Coming Soon: Part 2 - Infinite Value.
We have yet to approach the part in the story where we turn our backs on God. We will discuss this a bit more in Part 2: Infinite Value. We mess everything up and God puts into motion a plan to restore Earth to its original beauty. He pays the highest possible price, for us. Wow.