In our society, hardly anybody sings the praises of garbagemen–necessary as their services are. We seem to esteem creativity–art if you will–far more highly than clerking at a convenience store (irrespective of Seth Godin’s definition of “art”). While we are all equal in value before the Lord, not everyone is perceived to be making an equal contribution. Not all work necessarily nourishes our souls.
Why is that?
Certainly, there is classism, elitism, egotism to contend with. There are those who truly believe they are better than others. But we know from the Scriptures that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus.” Jesus is the great equalizer: He elevates the lowly, and abases the high and mighty. But I am not here discussing prejudice, but rather the intrinsic value we seem to place in creativity–which naturally extends itself to “creative types.” (Remember, an explicit affirmation of one thing brings with it an implicit negation of another).
So, we value creativity in its various forms. At its most basic level, I believe we do so because God is Creator, and and at some level–whether we believe in Him, or not–we recognize we are made in His image. It is in His nature to create, and thus we follow suit. To borrow Tolkien’s phrase, we are “sub-creators,” reflecting–refracting–His light to a dark world.
This is why I believe it is inherent in us to venerate creativity, for it is when we are creating something that we are most like Our Father. Eric Liddell said that God made him fast, and that he felt His pleasure when he ran. I’m sure it’s the same for writers, or actors, or painters… There’s a rush that comes of making something from nothing. Calling those things that are not as though they were. It is the nearest in likeness to God as creator that we can come.
This may seem to contradict the point I made above, but the unbelievably cool thing about this is that, in Him, we can all be artists: clerking in a convenience store, or collecting trash, though perhaps never esteemed by society, can nevertheless be elevated above the mundane–can be “art.” And we make art by putting all of our heart into whatever we’re doing.
Bloom where you’re planted, yes, but never stop reaching for the stars. God knows, and sees, all. “He who sees in secret shall reward you openly.”