[creative matters] chapter one: created to create

Written by Leslie Rowe

Owner/writer at Greatwords.net. Penn State alum. Religious views: for. Political views: against.

August 3, 2011

[serialposts]In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good…        

     – Genesis 1:1-4 NIV

Spider leg hairs.
The way sweat and skin pores cool an athlete’s body.
How a banana fits in my hand and powers the morning.
Bat radar.
Tsunamis and hurricanes and Hawaii.
Sperm meets egg.
Digestive tracts.
The plankton-to-whale connection.
My inner ear. Music, wax and all.
Art and Michelangelo.
Cat fur. (Purrs)
Source code.
Quantum physics.

God’s creativity shouts and whispers and smacks me upside the head when I give it my attention. Chapter one in the collaborative Creative Matters by Creative Collective is aptly titled Created to Create.

The chapter’s five authors speak to me, to you, and also to churches. They charge us (people and churches) with a challenge that if we settle for a copy/paste/compare/be safe mentality, we lack courage, insult the Creator, and ignore our calling. If comparison and imitation speak death to our creativity, then the converse is true: originality delivers life.

Relevance requires uniqueness. No, relevance demands uniqueness.

Here’s my personal takeaway from the authors: When God breathed and spoke, He created. His understated “Let there be light” danced life into chaos. And oh-my-goodness, holy cow, look what happened. And then there was light. Sun, moon, stars, constellations, galaxies, universes, an ever-expanding speed-of-light LIGHT.

And when He breathed, spoke, and created, He wrapped His words and creations into eternity so that now and always He still breathes, speaks, creates.

But wait.

I am created in His image. You are created in His image. I am filled with His Spirit. You are filled with His Spirit. I am invited to His table. You are invited to His table.

To achieve the potential He knit beforehand for us in our mother’s wombs, we too must create.

Let the church hear it: we are created to create. And it is good.


  1. Nancy Franson

    Really looking forward to this project. Lately I’ve been thinking about God’s delight in His creation. I see so many things–many of them on your list–and I find myself asking, “What was in the mind of God when He decided to make that?”  All I can come up with is, “Sheer delight.”

    (I see that you are a Penn State grad–clearly you’ve been well educated. Hail to the Lion!)

    • Leslie J. Rowe

      Hail indeed, made our annual July pilgrimage to Happy Valley a few weeks ago. 

      About creation…and this might be weird…but one day I was praying. I felt impressed about something that I have never confirmed in the word but I don’t think its heresy. I felt like the Spirit said that when we look at creation, particularly the animal kingdom, that each creature holds a part of God’s nature in it. (With man being the culmination, his image-bearer.) I began to converse with Him about this, and here’s what my imagination and memory recall:

      But Lord, what about dogs?  (loyal and faithful)
      Ants? (always working diligently, carrying the load)
      Giraffes? (unique, unexplainable)

      Lord–I got you! You can’t possibly be represented in ROACHES!!!
      (ah, yes, but they’re EVERYWHERE!)

      Just a thought. 🙂

      • Daniel Humphries

        The roaches thing cracks me up. But I think you’re right — there’s a lot that can be gleaned about the character of the maker by observing what’s been made. I never fully experienced a sense of awe at God’s creation until I moved to Colorado. Sure, when I lived in say, Fort Worth, there was a sense of “wow” on occasion, but here, the sheer majesty can stop even the most jaded in their tracks and leave them struggling for words. Just like our God — wondrous, wonderful, awe-inspiring. Makes me want to go read some Psalms!

        • Leslie J. Rowe

          Hey, Dan, didn’t see this until a week later (oops)…you are RIGHT about Colorado. Breathtaking. So beautiful, makes you feel small when you look at the Rockies or Garden of the Gods. Same thing when you look out at the ocean, especially one of those places where the waves crash fierce like Hawaii. Raw power, that’s God. 

  2. @bibledude

    i love this @lesrowe:twitter… “we are created to create. and it is good.” that statement is a declaration of God’s will for us, and sums up what the writers of this chapter share in this e-book.


  3. Daniel Humphries

    I don’t mean for this to sound as arrogant as it will probably come off, but I think I’ve always understood that my creativity is a gift God’s given me. When I use it though, I seem, naturally, to think the results are a reflection of me. In reading through the essays, I like, and at the same time have some fear about the notion that my creation reflects God as well.

    One would have to be totally devoid of senses and emotion not to marvel at the creativity of our God. And expressing creativity and exercising the creative process, whether it takes the form of painting a mural, writing a clever snippet of HTML, teaching a child to tie a shoe or organizing a small group ministry, can bring us closer to understanding one of God’s most fascinating attributes.

    I heard a painter once say he never felt closer to God than when he was creating a new work. And while I have little in the way of that kind of artistic ability, I can completely relate to the concept. When I’m creative, I’m like the Creator.

    • Leslie J. Rowe

      Dan, sometimes when I’ve finished a project that came off well (I write for business mostly, so it might even be a whopping-good sales letter), I feel so puffed up and content, and I wrestle with what part is pride, and what part is just simple pleasure at excellence, even if that excellence is my own (with credit to God for gifting me this way.) I’ll say out loud to myself about my work: “dang, that is GOOD” and then I’ll pray “Lord forgive me for my pride, but dang, that is GOOD!” and then I secretly think it’s okay, he’s proud of me too. Balance: pride vs pleasure at His creative excellence coming through me.

  4. Claire

    ‘Relevance requires uniqueness’ Leslie do you know how loudly that spoke to me! Wow! Love the wya you wrote this post.

    • Leslie J. Rowe

      thanks 🙂 big warm smile because affirmation is nice.


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[creative matters] chapter one: created to create

by Leslie Rowe time to read: 2 min