Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Typically when we thank God for things, the list is fairly predictable. Family, friends, health, that kind of thing. We thank him for forgiveness, the eternal future he's given those who trust in him, and for the ability and opportunities to serve him now. These are all great things to thank him for. In fact, they are probably the greatest things to thank him for.
But after this little "prayer time", we can quickly get out of that mode and go back to our day to day lives and the things we enjoy (especially us geeks) that we assume God really wasn't involved in. After all, did God program the code or do play-testing for Mass Effect 2 or Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? Nope. Did he write "The Way Of Shadows" or "Wizard's First Rule"? I'm pretty sure Brent Weeks and Terry Goodkind were responsible for those. Did God film Iron Man or Super 8? No.
But God is the Creator of creativity itself! He's the Author of authors! My dad once said to me, "Y'know really, we aren't very creative. Every idea we come up with is something that's been seen or done before." And he was right. The things we call "new" or "creative" are just re-arrangements and mash-ups of concepts we've been exposed to before. On the other hand, God created the entire universe out of nothing. Now THAT is some "outside the box" creativity!
Although I'm still very likely to compartmentalize my "thankfulness", I try to bring God into the creative things I enjoy. Although plenty of games and movies have elements that do not honor God, they have a vast number of elements that do. I try to remember that I enjoy exploring Skyrim because God designed me to enjoy exploring and discovering. He also gifted the visual artists of the game with the ability to take some of the best of what God created in nature and exaggerate those qualities in a fantasy landscape. God gave us a longing for strength, security, victory, and purpose, all of which he will give those who place their trust in him. And he has enabled creative people to give a foretaste of those things in the fiction and entertainment they create, whetting our appetites for what God will one day give us for real and in full.
EVERYTHING good we enjoy in life, originates as a gift from God, who designed us to enjoy whatever it is we're enjoying! We may twist and misuse what he's given us, but pleasure of any kind, in and of itself, is a gift of God.
We rightfully thank God for family, friends, health, nature, forgiveness, and eternity. But as we come down from those lofty "sunday thoughts", we can also thank him for the little pleasures in life (that we sometimes make too big a deal of) that also ultimately come from him and foreshadow a future beyond imagining.
James 1:17(ESV)- Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.