238 miles of ABBA & the death of creativity

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It took him more than five hours to drive to Chicago, during which time he listened to “Dancing Queen” by ABBA about 100 times in a row, stopping only for gas and other essential duties. The monotony was life-draining. (See http://www.coudal.com/abbavideo.php)

Genesis 1 reminds us that God is first and foremost the Creator. He is always creative and always creating. Although he may do things similarly from time to time, he doesn’t like to repeat himself.

In an review of Wilco’s Grammy-winning album “A Ghost is Born” which had its mixed reviews (by people other than me; I think it’s brilliant), one reviewer wrote these words: “All of this carping about Jeff Tweedy — what he should do, or whether he is on the decline, or whatever, illustrates the essential difference between fans and, say, friends. How would you like it if a friend said, ‘You were much better before, why don’t you try to be like you used to be?’ or ‘I like this part of you, please repeat it endlessly for the rest of your working life.’ Fans are like leeches when they demand an artist continue to please them, like Tweedy is an organ grinder’s monkey or something.”

Don’t we do that to God, too? We want God to reproduce the same thing over and over and over again. That’s what our technological society does. Machines are good at doing the same thing over and over again. They’re not creative. But we are. And as Dorothy Sayers writes in her book The Mind of the Maker, the creativity in each of us is directly related to our being created in God’s image. We’re the creative image of the Creator.

So, what does that say about salvation in Jesus and sanctification (holy-making) in the Holy Spirit? They are both creative acts. Both are acts whereby God takes his broken creation and makes something more from it than there was even before it was broken. The cracks and jagged edges get worked into something new and different and beautiful. And it’s never, ever the same. There are no copyrights on any of us creations, for none of us could ever be copied. Monotony, repetition, assembly lines, cookie cutters — none of them have anything to do with who God is. None of them have anything to do with who we were created by God to be. That’s why the guy in the car found five hours of “Dancing Queen” so deadening.

So, dust off your imagination and do something new today.

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