Erwin McManus says that part of being created in the Image of God is our creativity. Like Him, we can imagine things that don’t exist, and then we can make them exist.
We write books, paint, build, make music, dance, propose, mentor, compete, design, sculpt, photograph, share, like, tweet, retweet, and check in.
We cut and color our hair, hang flags, mix and match pieces of clothing, and base our purchasing choices on what best fits our image.
I can look at an empty plot of land and imagine a building there. And I can build it. If I build it, it will certainly fall down… but you get the point.
I can imagine things that don’t exist, and I can make them exist.
I can even go on Shark Tank and try to get people to help me sell the things I dream up.
But Shark Tank is a ruthless place.
And I think it’s ruthless because the Sharks have been in the real world. They’ve had incredible ideas that failed miserably and cost them all kinds of money. And they’ve had ideas that, when worked and bled for, soared. But my guess is that they’ve experienced more crashing and burning than soaring, because good ideas are common, but successful ideas are not.
The difference between success and a good idea is Day Two.
The difference between us and God is that God can create by using only His words. We have to work at it.
Then again, there are some things God works awfully hard at. Like taking a family of pagans and moving them from Ur to Canaan and then getting their descendants to actually believe that when he tells them how to live, he means what he says. Like getting people to quit getting divorced, but to refuse divorce because they choose to consistently love each other and not because there’s some law against it. Or getting people to quit making each other slaves because they finally realize what he’s been trying to tell them all along – they’re all valuable, and they’re all family.
God has lots of great ideas. But he doesn’t quit with just good ideas.
If you’ve ever tried to turn an idea into reality, you’ve probably found out how hard it is. The first day usually isn’t all that tough, because you have lots of energy and excitement. You know what you want to build, and you’ve finally started.
But Day Two is a little tougher, because when you were planning, you didn’t think about all the things that would get in the way.
Like learning how to mix paint colors.
Or the fact that your fingers bleed after a few hours of trying to learn to play the guitar.
Or the fact that she doesn’t know you exist.
The early church faced a Day Two problem in Acts 6. In Acts 2, three thousand people became believers in Jesus. In Acts 3, a crippled beggar got healed. More healings happened. More people got saved. The church was moving. Day One was the realization of a dream that has existed in the mind of God for millennia, and the apostles got to be right in the thick of it.
And then they realized that their dream of being the hands and feet of Jesus, of feeding the needy in their midst and creating opportunity through community outreach for people to hear and respond to the gospel, would require a bit of organization.
People were getting left out.
They were getting left out because of prejudice. Because the people in charge of distributing the food played favorites.
Day Two was much more difficult than Day One.
You can go read the rest of the story, but my point is this – had the apostles given up when the dream got difficult, we wouldn’t have a Christian church. We wouldn’t have a Bible. We wouldn’t even know the story.
Maybe today’s not even Day One for you – what you need is to find a dream worth chasing with all your heart.
Maybe it is Day One, and you’re excited about seeing one little piece of your dream become reality.
And maybe it’s Day Two, and you’re discouraged. Maybe you’re thinking about quitting, because there are obstacles you never thought you’d face.
Maybe you’re thinking you’re not cut out for this “making the invisible visible” thing that people like Erwin McManus talk about.
Let me ask you to do something.
Remember that you’re created in the Image of God, and remember that means that you should follow his lead in making a difference in the world.
And if you can believe all that, then remember what God did when his biggest, most audacious dream got messy because the expression of his most profound creativity, the human race, decided not to follow his instructions, and in so doing made the road forward infinitely harder than it should have been.
He got down on the road with them, made them clothes for the journey, and started working Plan B with all his creative energy.
If he can do it, so can we.
If we don’t, what stories will the world never hear?
What difference will you fail to make, just because you chose to stay in the muck of insignificance instead of just getting up and trying again?