Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ex Nihilo

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, begins this way, In the beginning God created . . . All that now makes up our physical world was created in six days. And to think that He magnificently constructed it all Ex Nihilo -- a Latin phrase meaning -- out of nothing.

Humanity traces backwards to those first days in the Genesis story. We are told that of all God's creation, we are the pinnacle. Reading the story, we can see that like our Creator we, too, are creative. No, we can't create out of nothing, but the evidence is undeniable, we are creators.

Adam and Eve were designed with enough creativity to catalogue every animal and cultivate every form of vegetation. Follow their family tree from the roots up and their offspring were no different. Jabal probably decided that everyone else could continue to sleep under trees, in dank caves, or under the stars, but one day the architect gene emerged, an idea formed, and he designed and built a tent. From then on tents were everyone's home.

Did Jubal, day-after-day, listen to the wind whistle through the trees, and the low moan it produced as it passed by the entrance of a cave? Did the happy sound of water tumbling over rocks and stones, or songbirds twittering melodically bring him more pleasure than others? We are not sure. But one day a latent, musical chord was struck in his heart, and he was the first to create music with wind and stringed instruments -- he fashioned the lyer and flute (Bob Dylan copied him and used a guitar and a harmonica).

Then there is Tubal-Cain. He probably got tired of blistered and cut hands or digging with a stick -- he was the first to fashion tools out of iron and bronze (I got none of those genes).


Even as I write I get a sense of satisfaction. I am quick to confess though, I have read too much, seen too much, and experienced too much to be completely original (but I do have a bad memory and that helps). But nonetheless, I am creating. God gives me a muse, some raw materials, a desire I can't shove down, and a voice I can't silence. Putting my thoughts down for myself and others to read, and the accompanying joy that comes with it, has come late in life.

But I am a creator -- never Ex-Nihilo. But I am a creator -- the Creator made me that way.

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