The breadth and depth of creation
When you look around at what people appreciate as the grander gifts of creation, you can, understandably, often see them valuing having enough food and clothing, comfortable housing and other things which make life manageable.
It is interesting to ask ourselves what sort of Creator decided what to provide for all living creatures, especially ourselves? If we were defining living resources for all beings, what would we choose? Of course, hopefully we would want all that we created to be appropriately shared, so that no-one lacked food or shelter, everyone had a role to play in living together and ways of learning to make life creative and interesting.
If you think about it, the nature of the whole creation, in our earth and beyond, defines what sort of Creator brought it to life. Maybe there never was a Creator – just a moment when everything came into existence or began to evolve in some unknown way? Part of the reason why I do believe in a great Creator is because of the amazing nature of all that exists. Part of the wonder of that is its complexity and interactions, its freedoms to be part of ongoing creation in just or unjust relationships and choosing to love or to hate.
As I look around me and see the beauty of all sorts of environments – mountains and seas, gardens and buildings, changing skies and climates and all sorts of different people and creatures, I can only imagine a source of creation that has a mind beyond anything we can imagine.
Having said all that, today I want to celebrate all the wonderful additions to life which, on many levels, are not actually necessary. And yet, their existence brings resources and gifts to life which are often transforming. I am referring to music, poetry and art. Obviously, we could live without these things, but what they bring to us is almost beyond description. Some of us can offer them to others, having the gifts to create or play music, write poetry or other literature or make works of art.
I can recall so many times when my whole being has been in despair, grieving, fearing what lies ahead or simply being overcome by tiredness. Then I have switched on some music or gone to hear a concert and my heart has been lifted in hope and my energy renewed by the beauty of what I am hearing. Sometimes my life has been restored when I have written liturgy or poetry. I recall a wise psychologist once telling me that, although engaging in creative writing might first use my energy, it then circles around and renews it.
To reflect on the amazing wonder of creation not only gives us possible pictures of how it began and who was its origin, but it invites in us a much grander picture of what we are given to help us live more fully. I will always celebrate the marvellous gift of the arts and all who offer them into our lives.