Why am I blowing, raking, and burning leaves? Why not just let nature takes its course?
Well, I want the lawn around my cabin to weather the winter and flourish in the spring. But that answer simply prompts another question: Why did I spend so much time taking care of my lawn…thatching, aerating, fertilizing (not once but four times)? Actions which made my lawn look great but also prompted the need for a weekly trim. Why? It’s a never-ending circle, creating more work for myself.
I wish I could say that peer pressure prompted such devotion to my lawn. But my cabin is on three acres of trees in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. It sits a couple hundred feet off the street. My neighbors can’t even see my lawn and I can’t see theirs. (Though I snuck a peak only to discover they opted against having a lawn. Gasp.)
So, I’m back to my basic question: Why?
I’ve discovered but one answer to that question for me: I care for my lawn because I’m created in the image of God, the creator of all things. I’m created in the image of God so, like him, I create things, like my meticulously landscaped lawn. Taking care of my lawn is my human way of emulating God. It gives me joy. (And, sometimes a backache.)
What are you creating?
You and I have been created in the image of God. Consequently, we mirror many qualities of our Creator. More specifically, while God created all things out of nothing, we create things out of that which God has created. By so doing, we live out our God-given mandate as human beings: to care for God’s creation (Genesis 1:27-30).
Our creative impulses distinguish us from all other living beings. While a beaver may create a dam and a bird a song, these abilities are part of their basic instincts to survive. They do not create hydration plants or symphonies. Only human beings travel to the moon and back.
On the other hand, a diminished creative impulse reflects a disconnect in our connection to our Source. Some examples of that detachment are Depression, which is like water on a fire; it dampens our creativity, or extinguishes it completely. Oppression, like imprisonment, forcefully hinders our creativity. Social expectations of parents and teachers, like wind in a sail, may push us away from our God-given creativity.
In short, when creativity is repressed, we fail to experience the joy of being created in the image of God. I find joy in caring for God’s creation. So, I will keep raking, blowing and burning leaves. I will keep applying fertilizers to my lawn. I will keep filling my garage or man cave with the appropriate tools.
And I encourage you to do the same. Your creative endeavor may not be landscaping the ground around your home. You may love decorating your home to create a warm, inviting place for friends and family. You may love creating music or visual art. You may enjoy writing or photography. Whatever it is, embrace and enjoy being a human being created in the image of God. Use your creative gifts to give glory back to the Creator of all things.