What if We Created more than We Consumed?

My downstairs is a jumble of fabric and thread and scissors and stuffing.  

I am in the middle of a sewing project: making reading nook pillows for my niece’s birthday. To be honest, sewing doesn’t thrill me. I can do it, but it is more detail-oriented than I like to be. The nit-picky details of measuring, finishing edges, and lining things up just-so drains me. But still, I do it. Because it connects me to something I do love to do.

 

Create.

 

When my niece and I went to the fabric store together, it was so fun. We admired colors and ran our fingers over textures as we dreamt together about what her reading nook could be like. Smiles. Possibilities. And now, in my downstairs, results.

 

There is a bolster pillow, pieced together with the combination of fabrics that she chose, that did not exist a few days ago. There is something new that used to live only in our imaginations.

 

Creating is about bringing ideas to reality. I love it. There is such joy in imagination coming to life.

 

Our culture gets it so backwards. It convinces us that it is the consumption of things that will make us happy. We have an obesity epidemic, but it’s not just with our bodies, it is with everything. We stuff ourselves full of objects other people have built, words other people have written, food other people have prepared, ideas other people have dreamed. And we fail to give our own imaginations a chance to come to life. And when we do, we miss out on a deeper satisfaction.

 

When we don’t create, we don’t connect with a core piece of our identity as humans. We are built in the image of a Creator God, who imagined this world and brought it to life.

 

A few weeks ago, I was at the Catalyst conference. The theme was “Make.” At the opening session, Chris Seay echoed the same thoughts. He said, “We are not made to consume, we are made to create.” Yes.

We are all creators.

 

Do you feel like you are living in that identity?

 

My guess is that if you are not an artist, you don’t. The terms “create” and “creative” have been hijacked by the right-brained. But really, these terms are universally true. To create means to bring something into being. We all have that power. We can create a meal, or a system, or a garden, or a party, or a costume, or a piece of furniture. Creating doesn't have to be crafty, and it doesn't have to be stuff. That's the fun. Creating doesn't have to be anything.

 

I wonder what would happen if we all created more than we consumed. How would it change our moods? How would it transform the world?

 

Sounds like a fun experiment.