Why we do what we do

In Teresa Slack’s latest post she posed a wonderful question, though she rightly states that it wasn’t hers to ask, but one put forth by some of her readers: “How have you changed with the writing of this book?”

When I read that I was a bit taken aback and thought about it for a moment as if it was being asked of me. How have I been changed? And if I would be allowed to expand the scope of the context to include my CDs and paintings, well then I really have a lot to ponder.

I think one of the main issues derived from the process of distilling all the art that I’ve been a part of creating, whether in part or in whole, would be a single word: motive. And my own analysis of the word rather shocks me.

A Christian’s first response, whether realized in full or in part, is always, “To glorify God.” And I don’t state that for any other reason than that’s what scripture requires of us (1 Corinthians 10:31). I have struggled with my motives all of my Christian walk. And I probably always will because I walk around in a continually deteriorating sack of skin that is constantly at enmity with God (Romans 8:7). This topic (and its history throughout my life) is a post within itself.

But it’s my second thought that I want to briefly discuss today.

Found deep within the womb of my spirit, divided between the essence of my created soul and the God-breathed elements of my eternal self, lies a divine quality imbued innately from my Creator: to myself create.

In every artist there comes a pregnant pause, a profound yet fleeting moment that captures our imagination and deposits seeds. Many are lost or forgotten, but there is always at least one that takes root, and given the proper encouragement, will manifest and bare the intended fruit.

There is not a moment in my life where I was not constantly investing, creating, imagining, and wondering. Now an adult, my parents confess to me their own wonder at how prolific I was in “doing things.” Whether a new Lego creation, a cardboard-box-and-duct-tape space craft, a non-code tree fort, or a stapled together comic book series to end all others, I was always making something.

Some may say I was over active. Some may have tried to slap a medical label on me (an error we make too often as a society). Others may have even called me a “dreamer.” They never knew how right they were.

When you become intimately connected to the divine nature of creativity, you can’t help but create something; its very DNA is designed to prolifically propagating life, a characteristic shared only by God and mankind.

The fact is that I am changed each and every time I write a book, write a song, or paint a picture. Something in me grows a little closer to Christ, and becomes a little more like my Father. I feel His glory when I breathe life into something–I feel I’m being just like my Daddy.

In the creation of art, we have a divine opportunity to become more like our Maker. I believe fashioning something from nothing is one of the most innate and intrinsic privileges we have as human beings. I create as He creates.

Such a privilege is it, in fact, and once again pointing to God’s limitless mercy, that He even allows the unbeliever to participate in it.

Thanks for spending some time with me today.



Christopher Hopper boat_1


5 Responses to “Why we do what we do”

  1. Galactic Overlord Says:

    I remember reading about Tolkien a few years ago, and he was described as a “sub-creator.” That had a big impact on me and on a story I was writing at the time. I changed my story to include that very idea, of people creating much like God (mentioned by a different name) did with us. As a result, it made the story so much richer than I could have thought.

    By the way, I played with Legos a lot, and they’re all in my bedroom closet. I was also proficient with dominos. 🙂

    – Jason

  2. Awesome!!! When we create, we become like God. Wow! If that doesn’t inspire creativity I don’t know what else could.

    Here’s something else for you to ponder…..

    Not only do we become like our Maker but we also reveal our Maker through what we create.

    That’s why it’s important for us to not keep our creation to ourselves. We need to be open and share it with others. I think Satan’s goal with the creativity in a person (even the church as a whole for that matter) is to keep it hidden. If he can keep us from walking in creativity, he keeps us from revealing God to the world.

    I heard Jason Upton preaching once and he said something really powerful. “The greatest hindrance to creativity is judgment.” He then went on to talk about how there are people with creativity in the church that we have never seen because the first time they tried to show them they were laughed at or mocked or told that it was unacceptable. They were judged and it killed their creativity. If it didn’t completely kill it then they most likely create only for themselves for fear of judgment again.

  3. Christopher, I’d even go so far as to say that every human being on earth is wired to create. We are all made in the image of God. Not all create through stories, paintings, or songs. Some create through analysis. Some in the kitchen. Some in the wood shop, and some in the laboratory. It’s a seed planted in us all, but just watered and cultivated more in some than in others.

    I was a little kid obsessed with Star Wars. Turn back the clock and you’d see me zooming around my back yard with an X-Wing Fighter looking for Stormtroopers to blast. Uncountable adventures in the crabapple tree, at my fort, or even in my bedroom. LOL Is it any wonder that I ended up a storyteller?

    Thank God to have a talent and be able to use it as vocation. Not everyone is so fortunate.

  4. *standing ovation*

    I’m am weary of hearing people (especially in Christian circles) say that Christian media, whether print, audio or film, is second rate. To me, those people live a defeated life serving a defeated god. My God, the creator, that lives within me can only produce through me first rate material. The books that we have confirmed as inspired by Holy Spirit make up the most sold, most read volume ever printed: the Bible.

    I agree with you that He is capable of so much more than what we give. Maybe it is that we start watering down what we first heard because we think it won’t print well. My prayer is. “Please God, let me step aside and write what you want, not what I think will sell well.”

    I have to remeber His words were well done “faithful” servant, not well done “best selling author.” Those are words some publishers stay away from.

  5. This is turning into a LEGO/STAR WARS fan club!! Where do I send my membership application!?!?

    To expand on the whole “Creator of a creative creation” stuff…

    I have been blessed with a few “creative-clones” of my own running around my house. There’s a certain joy that fills my heart when I sit down and watch them build the wildest looking spaceships out of a big plastic bin full of LEGO blocks… or sit down next to me with paper, crayons and color pencils to produce enough artwork to cover the fridge, walls, and still have some left over. Imagine the joy that He must feel when we approach our “art” with the same no-holds-barred, do-no-wrong, innocent and pure attitude as a small child.

    “Daddy, look what I created, just for you…”

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