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Just dropping by ... Finding answers in God’s book

Yevet Tenney Published on 17 January 2014

In our instant gratification world, where everything is spelled out in HD on the wide-screen television, and problems are shaped and solved in 30-minute increments, it is often difficult for a novice to understand the symbolism of the Bible.

The surfaces of Biblical stories are so simple and straightforward; it is easy to walk away and say, “That was a nice didactic story,” but there is a haunting feeling that there should be more. After all, this is God’s book – it should be richer somehow. There is more ... so much more. The deeper you read, the more you understand.

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As you pray and start to ask questions like, “How does this apply to me, and what am I supposed to learn from this story?” principles start to leap out, and you realize these stories not only apply to life but are patterns in your very life.

Even in the Creation, we find principles that apply to our lives. There is a pattern of order that comes clear as we read beyond the surface. God used six days to create the earth; yes, we know that. First, God solved the problem of darkness.

Then He divided the water in the air from the water on the land. Next, He divided that water and the dry land. After that, He put seeds in the ground and made them grow. He then put animals on the earth.

Finally, He made male and female and gave them dominion over the whole earth. In other words, He said, “You are in charge; take care of this wonderful place and these creatures I have given you.”

What can we learn from the Creation? First, God is a generous loving God who wants His children to be happy. Just look at the marvelous variety of His creations. He didn’t just throw the world together and say, “That is good enough for those who will dwell here.”

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No. He saw that it was good. Probably the word “good” in the Bible is the most magnificent understatement of all time. There is not a word to describe how wonderful His work was. He gave His very best to the last detail, and He was satisfied with His labors.

Was the earth created without a plan? I don’t think so. I am sure He started with a master plan and He worked His plan to the last atom of the last cell. He is a God of order, not of chaos. The Big Bang Theory falls apart under the lenses of the Bible story.

Order is the overriding theme of the Creation. “Big Bangs” tend to shatter things, not bring them together in magnificent order and supreme precision. The workings of the world, as God created them, are still patterns of order.

Babies still go through the same growing process. Animals are never born full-grown. Seeds still produce the intended outcome. Seasons still follow the same patterns. Chaos has never been able to produce that kind of repeating order.

As we look deeper, what is one principle we can learn from the Creation story? Creative labor brings satisfaction. Human beings, like God, find satisfaction in creating something of value, and the effort they exert in the creative process makes all the difference.

Creativity begins with formulating a plan. What will we need? What will be the first step, the second step? What will the final product look like? Will it work the way the Creation was planned?

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Creativity, in effect, is bringing things together that exist in chaos and putting them into meaningful order to make something useful or beautiful, and the Creation is most effective when it makes a difference in someone else’s life.

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Artists know the feeling of creative satisfaction when they mix colors and spread them over the canvas to send a message in visual form. They are thrilled when their work communicates their message to someone else.

Farmers know the satisfaction of clearing a piece of land and planting seeds in a certain order. As they watch it grow and produce, it gives a feeling of satisfaction. If they share their harvest, it is more meaningful.

Writers start with a blank piece of paper or computer screen and fill it with words that take on meaning and emotion. Satisfaction comes when writers re-read the words and feel the emotion they have created. It is twice as nice when someone else is blessed by the words they have written.

Composers, actors, screenwriters, inventors all take satisfaction in their work. Every advertisement, road sign, highway, building and invention begins with a human’s creative plan that is carried out from the planning stage to the final product.

There seems to be a connection between creating and sharing. God took satisfaction in His work, and I am sure He enjoys it again when we appreciate what He has done. Gratitude plays such a big part in satisfaction. All humans need to have someone be appreciative of our creative works.

I wonder if much of the dissatisfaction and emotional illness in our society comes from the lack of creativity or rather the lack of using the creative abilities that we all have. I would venture to say, “The more we are consumers instead of creators, the more frustrated we become.”

We need to be able to express ourselves and allow ourselves to create. It is definitely easier to sit in front of the television or flip through our mobile device and enjoy what someone else has done rather than to use the energy to create something of our own.

The Creation story has other principles that apply to our lives. God’s crowning glory was the creation of Adam and Eve. God created them after His image. What does that really mean?

If humans are in the image of God, they are like Him. We have His attributes and divine potential. That means we have limitless possibilities. Of course, we are mortal, and subject to the frailties of the flesh, but if we are in the image of God, we can accomplish much more than we allow ourselves to imagine.

We have to tap into the God-given powers of creation. We must allow ourselves to think bigger and use our creativity to become all that we were intended to be.

God gave Adam and Eve dominion over all His creations. Dominion means to govern and to have authority over something. Governing and taking care of the Earth is a big job for two people, but God didn’t think so. He expected them to grow in capacity and power.

Even today, He expects great things from His children. He expects us to be producers, caretakers and creators. Each one of us has talents and God-given abilities that we can use to bless the lives of others. We have a divine mission to perform. How do we know what that mission is?

We can live day-to-day wondering and trying different avenues. Trial and error is effective, but it takes forever. There is a better way. Reading the scriptures and praying are much more effective in discovering our divine potential and our mission in life.

God know us. He answers prayers. He has promised that if we “ask, we shall receive.” It isn’t enough to just read the scriptures. Deeper meanings only come out with deeper reading and pondering. We must ask questions and be willing to listen for the answers.

Prayer is a two-way communication process. It isn’t a grocery-list kind of prayer: Give me this and give me that. It is a father-to-son or -daughter conversation. Questions like: What are my talents? How can I use them to create something of value that will bless others? Where do you want me to serve today? What does this scripture mean? How does it apply to me?

These questions are effective, but it isn’t good enough just to ask. Listen for the answer. Answers will come into your mind, and if you act on those answers, God will lead you gradually and steadily to your potential. Be ready to give up a few things of the world and to do more than you ever thought you could. PD

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