The Difference Between Creating and Building

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2, New Revised Standard Version)

I am not a Trekkie (I’m not even sure if my spelling is correct). I didn’t like the original series but I did deem “The Next Generation” (TNG) okay, at least some of the time. Cindy is the one who likes Star Trek. Not only do I not care much for Star Trek, I am not a fan of the whole science fiction genre. If you like it, more power to you. I am happy you do, it just isn’t my cup of tea.

There is one episode of TNG I rather enjoyed (Truthfully, there are more than one but don’t tell Cindy). It featured a recurring character, an antagonist named “Q.”

Q was an omnipotent, almost god-like character. He could defy the physical laws of the universe at will. That sounds like God, doesn’t it? While he could be the good-guy when he wanted, far more often than not, he would choose the route of being difficult, even playing practical jokes on Captain Picard and others for his own amusement.

In the final episode of the series, titled “All Good Things, “Q takes Picard back in time to the beginnings of life on earth. Two amino acids in a puddle of gue converge on one another to begin life on this planet. Yes, I know that is not what the Bible says happened. I know it is not what we believe happened. That is not my point. The two acids miss each other and life on earth never begins, according to Q.

Here is what I do know, somehow, someway, probably a way we humans will never figure out, God created heaven and earth and all that is in them. Why? I can’t altogether answer that question. Did God use a “big bang,” and things came together? Again, I can’t answer that question.

God somehow, took a lifeless expanse that was without form at all and “swept across the water.” Of course at that point the earth was formless. All that was here was “dark waters.” Have you ever tried to shape something out of water? Unless you freeze it, it can’t be done. Well, unless you freeze it OR you are God it can’t be done.

Like Q in the show, God is omnipotent and can work miracles. Unlike Q, God is not cynical. God knows that we have the ability to resist sin and respond in love. Unlike Q, God also fills us with love for God and love for each other, which Jesus reminds us, is the most important thing we do.

From an expanse of nothing, formless, void of anything but water, God created this world. In the end, God gave us dominion over the creation. God trusted us with what God had made.

Ten years ago, my biggest hobby was woodworking. I made all kinds of things. When I first started, we had bought Cindy a keyboard, an electric piano. Unlike a traditional piano that always comes with a bench, keyboards do not. So, one Christmas, after consulting with a church member and getting some direction, and more importantly, the promise of some help and experience, I decided to make Cindy a piano bench for Christmas.

I spent virtually every afternoon at Harry’s house, out in his shop, working on the piano bench. Once it was finished, I had a beautiful piece of furniture, even if I do say so myself. The piano bench is still in our home, but I didn’t create it. I built it. I believe that it is only God who can create. I can take what God created and build something from those resources.

I made several things during my woodworking phase. If I had the room in my garage I would probably do it again. Still, I am not a creator. At best, I am a co-creator with God. I do not have the ability to make a tree or a mountain or. The best I can do is to take a part of the thing God created, that is beautiful in its own right, just the way God created it, and use it to build something beautiful and useful. I can build something useful that meets a need for me or someone else. In this case it was for Cindy.

Let us respond in ways that demonstrate to God that we can take God’s hand that created all we can see and all we cannot and use the resources with love to make lives better. Better lives means we can all better serve God and GOd continues to create in the world around us.

Be Blessed.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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