Late July is the middle of convention season. Every year fans pay homage to the things they love by making a pilgrimage to the convention. The most well-known is the San Diego Comic Con, but there are dozens of conventions all over the country. Every year I make this trek and attend Gen Con, the four greatest days in gaming. Gen Con is not as massive as something like the San Diego Comic Con that draws in over 100,000 people. Despite that, it is still a big deal and for a week the convention completely takes over the city of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Every year one of the things that impresses me with Gen Con, as well as many of the other fandom based cons is the incredible outpouring of creativity. For instance just at Gen Con this year there will be thousands of cosplayers in amazing costumes. Some of these are immaculate recreations, but others get more creative. There will be cosplayers who do a gender bender costume, others will imagine their favorite character in a steampunk setting, and other like the pictured Wolverine will combine two different properties. At Gen Con it is also not uncommon to see people dressed as Klingons singing Star Trek inspired folk tunes or castles made out of playing cards. That does not even mention the thousands of amazing and original stories that will be crafted through all of the roleplaying sessions offered at the con. Creativity is on display everywhere at a place like Gen Con, the San Diego Comic Con, or even the D23 Disney convention.
One of the things that going to Gen Con reminds me is that people are awesome. We really are. It is honestly staggering just how amazing we are all. All the proof we need of this fact is found on YouTube. YouTube is the greatest collection ever of how awesome people are. On YouTube there are millions of videos that show how amazing we are at music, art, and building incredible things out of little blocks on Minecraft. The key to all of this awesomeness is that people, each and every one of us, are naturally creative. Some people insist that they are not creative, but that is ridiculous. The problem is that we have limited creativity too much. When someone says they are not creative they mean that they are not artistic or crafty. Creativity is the ability to create something, anything new. It is the ability to imagine something different than you have seen or heard before. We are all creative, and we all have imagination. It is one of the things that makes us people, and people are awesome. In fact, our ability to be creative and use our imagination might be the most important thing about us. Albert Einstein, one of the smartest people to ever live, thought so. He once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
It should not come as a surprise to us that each and every person is creative by nature, because after all we were designed that way. The beginning of Genesis speaks to this. Genesis begins by showing how creative God is. Each day that Genesis records has God creating something amazing. After each day, God declares the creation is good. Yet on the six day, God declares something different. On the six day God creates humanity. As Genesis records: “God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
There are two major insights from the Genesis creation story. Frist, God is creative. A fundamental aspect of what makes God a god is that God is a creative creator. What we can observe about God’s creation shows how true this is. The scripture says that God said let the land produce vegetation. Today, biologists still do not know how many different types of plants there are in the world, but the estimate is that there are 400,000 different types of plant species. The scripture said that God created the stars. God must really like stars, because God created a lot of them. The estimate is that there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone. Each star is unique and different from every other one. God created the birds and the animals in the sea. Again, the creativity that we find in nature is staggering. There are 2,000 different species of starfish. Each one different in shape, color, and behavior than the other species of starfish. That says nothing for the mind blowing diversity found throughout the ocean. In the same way, there are 300 different types of humming birds. Just humming birds. The creativity of God is staggering. God crafted the world with all of its natural beauty of mountains, crystal clear lakes, and flowing waterfalls. God created a biodiversity that staggers the imagination. The pinnacle of this creation though was us, it was people.
The second insight is that humanity is different than all of creation. Did you notice that after each day it ends with God saw that it was good, except after the 6th day. Once God creates humanity, God declares that it is very good. People are awesome and even God thinks so. What sets us apart from the rest of creation is stated in Genesis 1:27 “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. “ We are created in the image of God. One of the things this can mean is that some of the aspects of God that make God uniquely God, are also what make us uniquely human. I think one of these aspects is our creativity. Part of God’s nature is to be creative, and a creative spark is part of what makes us who we are and what makes people so awesome.
God is still creatively at work in the world today, and it is something we can join God in. Using our imagination and our creativity to create something new and join with God’s mission in the world is not just something for the special. It is not just something that missionaries and pastors can do, it is something that all believers are invited to join in with. You are invited to use your creativity and your imagination to join God in making a real difference in the world. You have a creative spark, and there is absolutely a way that you can leverage these things to do something new, to create something new that glorifies God and transforms this world. People are awesome. You are awesome, because have been created by the God of the Universe with the amazing capacity to be creative. May you respond to that invitation. Whatever gift you have been given may you use it to make a real difference.