On Joy and Creation

I’ve heard that the blank page is a terrifying thing to an author, not unlike a painter’s canvas. For me this is not the case. Frankly, the first draft never scares me; it’s the essential (and seemingly endless) revisions that keep me awake and stop me cold.

But that first draft—that initial act of putting passion to the page—well, that’s nothing to fear. I find it freeing and inviting, ever-so inviting. When I sit and stare at the screen or hold my pen at the paper, I have all manner of opportunity and freedom. I can simply soar, and I revel in that moment.

Granted, reviewing the result brings me back to solid ground, and more often than not, I wonder if I’ll ever fly again (or, rather, if I should bother). But that space of time between starting and ending—well, that time is pure joy.

When I sit that fact, I can’t help but ask, “Does God take as much joy creating as we do?” I use the present tense specifically, for I think that God’s work of creation is ongoing. For an answer to the question looked for some help. Desiring God ministries offers insight on God’s pleasures as well as his joy in his creation, and my revisiting one Psalm they cite as well as Genesis 1-2 proved helpful. From what we know of God and his character, he takes joy in the act of creating, for it is a revealing and reflection of his glory.

Perhaps that’s why we take joy in it as well—in the moment of putting our hands to clay or paper to pen, we too reveal ourselves. We put our imprint onto the nothing and make something new through our action. Now, maybe we do not make something “good” (as God clearly does), but even so, we reflect who we are. And echo who he is, in a way.

So I think on this further, and I let me mind go. How the Lord must savored those early moments when the Spirit hovered over the surface of the waters. How rapturous must it have been to make man from the dust. What tender contentment must he feel when he forms a babe in the womb. If he does as he pleases, and he creates good things, how pleasing and good must his joy be.

Indeed it must be great. And that brief joy I get in my creative endeavors feels all the more great when I consider it in light of God’s. My pleasure is merely a shadow of the joy he had in laying the foundations of the world. My happiness when putting words to print is merely an echo of the abundant satisfaction he felt when bringing human life into being. These emotions I feel in my fallen creativity are but a foretaste of an enjoyment I’ll carry throughout eternity—oh what words will be penned over the course of that great expanse—words of delight and truth and beauty, resounding praise unto the edges of existence. They will pour from humanity like water over falls, a stream of extravagant joys unending.

Looking toward that age, I write. I create. And I wonder. My heart melts at these things. We can savor the fact that God was pleased to create, takes pleasure in doing so, and makes good things; we know this because of who he is, and we glimpse it in ourselves.

May we be in awe of him as we do so…from now unto forever.

Thanks for reading,