I was sitting in a rehearsal for our church's Christmas Production last year, as I began to look around at the mixed bag of amateur actors. Some are testing these waters for the first time, some are well-versed in the once-a-year-moment-of-glory (and that pesky nervous vomiting) that comes with the renowned local church depiction of the Jesus story.
Few of us would call ourselves artists, and yet we're all sitting here waiting for our turn to create - to take the character given to us, written from the heart and mind of a distant playwright and make it into something tangible that, for now, only exists in our minds. It's quite incredible really.
Someone created a story,
gave it to a Producer,
she chose actors,
these actors bring life to the story.
This is the beautiful act of shared creation - helping each other realize the one thing we are all made to do - to make something new.
God, the ultimate designer, 'heaven's architect', had something big in store for humanity. Something far beyond the simplicity of life we remind ourselves of all too often. This fragile body holds within it the ability to think, to move, to feel, to change, to dream, and then to put all of those into action by choosing to create something new.
When we accept that our chief purpose in this life is to create something new, we begin to live more like Jesus
the one that rubbed mud on a man's eyes to demonstrate how easy it really is to bring sight to the blind, the one who picked up a woman off the ground and with 5 simple words gave her a brand new purpose for her life, the one who took that fragile body and put it to death through one passionate act on the cross only to create it as whole and new again a few days later. When we accept that our chief purpose in this life is to create something new, we begin to live more like the one who makes all things new.
Is it just a Christmas play, a cheese-ball wrapped up with a bow, some nice music, and some terrible jokes?
Will it sell some tickets, get some people into the building, offering a chance to hear the message of the greatest story ever told, and be a highlight of the year for this church in this community?
Is this about the final product, or the creation of that product?
What if the most exciting part to the Creator about producing something like this in a local church in Bumsville, Ontario isn't the product at all but the creation of that product. Within the process of creating we are able to bring people on board to see something that wasn't there before, to imagine and then bring to reality something that only existed in the abstract.
If we can help other creatures practice the divine skill of creating, we have learned to worship the creator in a whole new way - a way that simply can't be measured by the number of nanaimo bars we give away and tickets we sell.
This is bigger, this is destiny language.
To help awaken another's ability to dream,
that's something I will sign up for again and again.