“In the beginning, God created.”
You’ve heard that a thousand times, but let this truth sink in for just a moment. The first thing God reveals about Himself in Scripture is not that He is loving, holy, omnipotent, gracious, or just. No, the first thing God shows us at the genesis of time is that He is the Creator God!
For the first six days, God revealed His creative spirit by speaking stars, animals, and oceans into existence. Then, on the sixth day, He created man “in His own image” and commanded him to “fill the earth and subdue it.” This is more than just a call to reproduction. This is an explicit call to create, an invitation for humankind to reflect the image of the Creator God to the world!
A 2013 study by the Barna Group found that only one-third of American Christians “feel called to the work they currently do.” While few of us feel called to the jobs we’ve been given, almost all of us desire for our work to feel like a vocation. But how does that happen? How does our work become more than just a job—a true calling on our lives?
It starts with careful study of God’s Word. Many Christians don’t feel called to their work because they’ve bought into the centuries-old myth that there is some sort of hierarchy of callings in which the work of a pastor or “full-time missionary” is somehow more eternally significant than that of the entrepreneur, artist, janitor, or salesperson. The Bible could not debunk this myth more clearly. In perfect Eden, we see God calling Adam to do the work of a gardener and branding agent, two jobs we might be tempted to view as “secular” today. But this is God-ordained work and is thus inherently good and meaningful. We worship a God who creates and who calls us to create as a means of glorifying Him.
But even once we accept what the Bible has to say about the goodness and meaning of work, the fact remains that our work can only be a calling if Someone calls us to it and we work for their agenda rather than our own. What is our Caller’s agenda? Jesus summarized it so eloquently in Mark 12: Love God and love others.
For the past couple of years, I’ve been on a quest to discover stories of Christian entrepreneurs and creatives who have loved God and others well through their work, studying how viewing their creating as a calling from God changed their relation to their work. It’s the stories of these 40+ men and women that make up my book, Called to Create. Over the next few days, you will read stories from four of these creators: Casper ten Boom, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Arthur Guinness. I pray their stories, combined with the daily Scripture readings, will inspire you to embrace God’s call to create and encourage you on the path to creating for the glory of God and the good of others.