When Do You Come Alive?

Sitting at my sewing machine as the clock strikes one in the morning, my eyes are slightly heavy, but my mind is active and I’m still raring to go. The thread flies across the patterned cloth, seaming its side just the way I want it to. My eyes focused on the hand-drawn pattern of a dress beside me, I make sure to flip to the right side of the cloth before letting my needle do the work. The clock strikes again. This time, it’s three in the morning. How did time fly by like that? I’m not tired. I’m actually more awake. Holding up my completed project, a sense of fulfilment and delight fills me. I feel alive.


CO-CREATORS IN CHRIST

Thank God that all of us are created unique with different likings, personalities and strengths. Yet, in all our differences, God has made us to enjoy Him, the work of His hands, and the work of our hands.

Ecclesiastes reminds us that it is the gift of God that all of us should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all our labour (Ecc 3:13). And this work of our hands this labour is part of co-creating with God. This work that God has given to us can be an act of worship unto Him. 


The idea of co-creating is not about placing ourselves on the same level as God,
but acknowledging that when we submit to His will and purposes,
we become willing participants to His ways.

 

In an article titled “Created Co-Creators” by Drew Rick-Miller, the project Co-director of Science for the Church, he says that humans are co-creators with God and this is a reflection of the freedom that we have to participate in God’s purposes. The idea of co-creating is not about placing ourselves on the same level as God, but acknowledging that when we submit to His will and purposes, we become willing participants to His ways. This approach was first introduced by Lutheran theologian Philip Hefner. In a sense, God has made us to be his hands and feet on earth to carry out His good purposes on earth. Ultimately, it is God’s work and ways being fulfilled and not our own cleverness or ability.

 

CO-CREATING AS WORSHIP UNTO GOD

Therefore, when we create — when we build something, when we freely create through art, music, dance, when we discover new technological improvements, when we form relationships and create moments of delight — we are exercising our status as co-creators in Christ. First Corinthians 3:9 tells us that “we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” And this act of co-creating can be worship unto God.

 

Understanding the importance of co-creating with God
is freeing and helps us to find joy and meaning in the work,
no matter how mundane or difficult.

 

So whether you are a student, an employee, a parent, or whether you find yourself caring for your elderly parents or little children, or whether you are painting, creating music, serving food or playing sports; when we see that this work we are doing is good fulfilling God-given roles — there can be great joy gained and fulfilment found. Understanding the importance of co-creating with God is freeing and helps us to find joy and meaning in the work, no matter how mundane or difficult. It isn’t just doing what needs to be done, it is doing what needs to be done while knowing that you are worshipping God through it. In the past, I used to see worshipping God as something fixed to a time and place; like at church or at home when spending quiet times with God. But as I grew in my understanding, worship became so much more than that. Our lives in and of itself is a worship unto God. That means in all we do, say, think — these are acts of worship. So when we do what needs to be done with a heart that seeks God’s glory, we are worshipping. 

 

WORKING IT OUT

Knowing that we are co-creators with God and our work is worship unto Him … now what? The truth is, work can still be frustrating and discouraging. Instead of jumping out of bed in the morning and going to school or work, we find ourselves dragging our feet, wondering how long more before the day ends. How then can we find joy in this work?

 

God did not give humankind work in order to tire him out or frustrate him.
He gave work that was fulfilling and work that was good.

 

In his article “How to Fight Laziness”, John Piper declares that: we need to have a good theology of work. Simply put, it is having a biblically sound theology of work. Work is not a bad thing. Frustrating work is the bad thing. When God made the heavens and the earth, He was working. That’s why Genesis tells us that “by the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing” (Gen 2:2). This work that God completed has resulted in the beautiful world we have – majestic mountains, rivers that wind and bend, glorious sunrises and sunsets, stars that twinkle in the night sky, and so much more. 


God had wanted to share the work of co-creating with humankind. In Genesis 2:15, it tells us that “the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (emphasis mine). He did not give humankind work in order to tire him out and frustrate him. He gave work that was fulfilling and work that was good. Therefore, let’s be encouraged to give our whole-hearted best in all that we do (Ecc 9:10), remembering that we are “working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Col 3:23).

 

Whatever it may be,
these moments of coming alive while co-creating
is a gift from God.


AM I A WILLING PARTICIPANT IN GOD’S PURPOSES?

A question to ponder upon: What is the work that makes you come alive? 


For me, I come alive when I work with my hands, whether in kneading dough to make a loaf of sourdough, knitting or embroidering to create something beautiful, or even putting words on paper. I have a sense of God’s delight – almost a glimpse into how a father simply enjoys looking on as his daughter creates something of her own – and my own delight as well. Perhaps for you, work takes on a different and more unconventional direction. You may love coding or designing, or you have a knack for problem solving. Whatever it may be, these moments of coming alive while co-creating is a gift from God.


“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10). Use the giftings and talents God has given to you and work at it with all your heart as a worship unto God, knowing that you are His hands and feet in this world. Enjoy this process of co-creating, becoming a willing participant in the purposes of God for your life. 

Alina Teo
I am a mother of two littles. Some things that I love — vintage florals, mountains, cooking, sewing and writing. I have a heart for the broken and I take comfort in knowing that Christ can be our hope.

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