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The Meaning of Life

For the past several days I’ve been pondering the question, “Why do we create?” I thought I completely understood the answer, but I wasn’t sure. I still don’t know if I can articulate it properly now, but I’ll try. In writing this, I discovered that the question is not so simple, and amounts to nothing less than defining the “meaning of life”. Let us go back to the beginning.

In the beginning, God created. He created with the spoken word as his tool. Through the inspiration of his servants, he ensured that his spoken words were written for us to read. The Bible is God’s love story to us. It is more than just a history book, it is alive. It lives with the creative power of God’s words. It is the testimony of God’s ultimate creativity. What he conceived in Genesis, became life.

God created and God had story to tell.

Why do we create? Because we are made in his image. We create because God first created, and he constructed within us a desire to design and build new things. That’s why we sing, write, paint, and invent. We are mini-creators.

But it is more than that. Our creative ability is limited only by our imagination. Just as God gave life through spoken words, we create also with words. Every creation in our society began as words. Even now, in a few simple words, I can spring life of something new in your mind. If I tell you of a creature, seemingly human yet with wings as beautiful as a butterfly, you can see it. She has stunningly beautiful blue eyes and long blonde hair. Her face belongs to a world that is not ours, and her clothes seem to be made of mist.

Suddenly, this new creature is alive in your mind, and it only took thirty-nine human words. If I wanted to do more, I could paint this creature, render it with computer animation, or hire someone to portray it in film, and it becomes even more alive. I can do anything I want to give this creature more lifeness… but I cannot give it life.

Such is the limitation of my words. Yet God in his power has no such limitation. What he can conceive he can speak. What he speaks can have genuine life.  And it is through this life stories are made.

We all have a story to tell. We all have something in our mind we wish to share, be it fantastical or ordinary. Just as God tells the story of our lives, we in turn desire to tell others the story God has given us. We want to tell others the story of our experiences, or the experiences of our ancestors… stories that reflect our creative ability. Whether we do it for selfish gain or human betterment, whether it be truth or fiction, it does not matter. We create… we tell our story… it’s what we’re designed to do.

Honestly, is there more to our lives than those two things? Is this the “meaning” of carnal life? I believe it is. From great to small, old and young, every person is a creator… every person is a story teller. These are the only constants, the only great unifiers of mankind. What defines our individualities is the uniqueness of what we create and the stories we tell.

What do you create? Do you create epic worlds of ink and paper, or beautiful tapestries of paint? Do you create with your hands using earth, fabric, wood, or metal? Do you create ideals by which you hope to make the world a better place? Do you create constructs by which you bring income to your family? Do you create entertainment?  Do you create healing or hope?

What is your story? Do you tell about your business, school, or activities? Do you tell stories of complete fiction? Do you tell stories about your life? Do you tell stories about God?

God is our creator and our storyteller, and we are in his image.

After you read this, I want to challenge you to answer those two questions. Ponder it, dwell on it, pray about it. Watch yourself over the next few days and see if everything you desire to do can be categorized as one of those two things. For you, this may be a pivotal epiphany in your life. For some, it may be confirmation of what has been stirring in their souls that they could never name. It is vitally important that everyone define their ability to create and the story they have to tell.

As for me… I create with words as you see here. My story, is the story of my life… of my lowest points and how God saved me, my falls and my redemption. Whether it be Winter or a different story, fiction or non-fiction, every story I tell will be about my life somehow. And it will point to God. That is my story and my creation. What are yours?

Do you feel empty and story-less? We can only be true creators and storytellers through the grace of God. Everything else is false and without meaning. If your creations and stories have no meaning, then perhaps you need God to give it meaning. Check out a small portion of God’s love story to us in the book of Romans. Read it, absorb it, and yield to the life changing power of God’s creation and God’s story. And soon, you’ll have a story of your own.

About Keven Newsome

Keven Newsome is an musician, theologian, and a bit of a nerd. He enjoys a variety of musical genres, from Christian rock to movie soundtracks to KPop. A former band director, he plays about a dozen instruments, given a couple of weeks to practice up. His theological work has included a book on multi-generational ministry and a thesis on the theology of communicating with the dead. As for his nerd-card, he enjoys the fandoms of The Legend of Zelda, Doctor Who, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Lord of the Rings. With a music degree from William Carey University and a theology degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Keven actively serves in ministry as both pastor and worship leader.

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