Why I Create

create beautiful things

Creating is life. If you are a "creative" you know what I  mean. From cooking a colorful meal to wearing different combinations of your clothing (never the same thing twice) to making something new from something old. The world is a canvas ready to be painted on. Life Lived Beautifully PrintThis is by no accident. This is who you are. This is who you were created to be.

In my elementary school years I lived in a make-believe world. I was constantly creating and constantly pretending. I would make crowns out of leaves and wear them like the Greeks! This eventually backfired when I made them out of poison ivy and quickly learned I am highly allergic to it. I would create "perfumes" using medicine cups by mixing together the different lotions in our cabinets. My brother and sister never liked the mess I left in the bathroom after these creating sessions! I even made my own fashion line in middle school, complete with pictures and instructions.

I later went on to pursue fashion as a career in college. I majored in Fashion Merchandising at the University of Georgia and continued to discover my passion to create. There have been times in my life where I have focused on everything in life in life other than creating, and those times I knew something was missing. I was created to create.

Creativity isn't about showcasing our own abilities. It is about showcasing THE Creator. The only reason I have creativity in my blood is because He put it there. And it is not in me to bring glory to me but to bring glory to God. Tim Keller describes this perfectly in this five minute video clip!

Tim Keller "Creation & Creativity" Clip from Redeemer Video on Vimeo.

The truth is, when I make creating about me, I'm not very creative and I lose it's joy. When I create for the joy of the Lord, things just seem more beautiful and purposeful! The very first verse in the Bible says that "God created the heavens and the earth." The word "create" is bara in the Hebrew language, and it means to fashion or form. He painted all the earth we see around us. We never create anything new because as my Mawmaw would say "There is nothing new under the sun." Rather we create to discover and bring glory to God.

Necklace on my Pawpaw's Bible

I create to worship God. I make necklaces, paint and write blog posts so that He might be made known to those around me. I create this way because I know that it is a fragrant offering to the Lord when I do it with a pure heart.

However, creativity isn't always easy. There are times when I make mistakes or have an idea that completely doesn't work or turn out the way I envisioned it. This brings me back to reality, that in order to create beauty I must rely on the Lord and recognize my weaknesses. When we are weak, He is strong. I have even realized that the more I look at other people's work, the less creative and original I become. Create the things that YOU love and that YOU would want to see! It's not about stealing other people's ideas, it's about making what fuels your heart. I love this quote by Scott Adams: "Creating is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

My challenge to you, as a creative, is to assess  your skills and talents and find anyway that you can to use them to bring God glory. How can you strategically create to share the gospel around the world? How can you use your gifting in a way that points people to God and not to self?

As creatives we are entrusted with gifts that not everyone has. We must use them, refine them and do them well and faithfully. Who knows, it might just be through your art and obedience that someone sees the Lord for the first time or is encouraged to know Him more? That is what life is all about.

worshipping while i create,

Gretchen