Appreciate the New!

Studio 22 (Used with Permission)

During summer vacation visits to our grandsons in Texas, our tradition is to watch a series of movies. Last year, these featured a selection of films by Robin Williams. This year, we thought we would do all Pixar films, but ended up mixing in a variety of others. Now, it might be good to note that the boys have already seen all of these films, but they are re-watching them to enjoy this time with their Poppi who doesn’t get to the “movie house” very often!

The surprising film in our near nightly gathering at the home theatre was an older one (2007) by Disney, Ratatouille. I had seen parts of this, but had never viewed it entirely. This animated adventure is about a Parisian rat named Remy who is, ironically and comically, an excellent restaurant chef!

When the boys suggested this one to watch they noted that it was their dad’s favorite. Marc would later explain that it was the final review by the villainous newspaper food critic named Ego that was his favorite part of the movie. Ego often boasted that his reviews could make or break a restaurant.

That ending review, popularized on YouTube, shows a reflective side in its final two minutes. The newly converted Ego emphatically writes that too often something new and different is disparaged and depreciated simply because it is new and different. This may, in part, explain why creative people are often misunderstood and critiqued unfairly for their work. Ego suggests, “The new needs friends!”

We have several creative types in our family. These individuals express themselves through photography, fashion, graphic design, writing and music. They are beloved by most of their “audiences” most of the time, but they constantly open themselves up to “reviews” that can be painful to receive. Some of these can be blunt if not cruel. I guess this is the expected plight of those who take on this creative charge!

I see an incredible and blessed dimension to how creativity is expressed in the church. It is through God’s equipping in spiritual gifts. “All these (gifts) are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines” (1 Corinthians 12:11). I believe that Scripture teaches that each believer has been gifted with at least one of these creative expressions of the Holy Spirit’s work: teaching, helping, caring, serving, encouraging, and many more. There are representative listings throughout the writings of Paul and Peter.

Paul beautifully describes God’s work in and through us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). When I was selecting a working title to these blog articles, I chose, “Serve by Design” because it expressed for me the core of what we are about as Christians. We are called to serve the Lord and His church and to do so in the way He has gifted and creatively designed us. We are blessed whenever we “put ourselves out there” using our spiritual gifts to advance the kingdom of God and to build up the church. Sometimes we will be misunderstood in our service, but most of the time we end up declaring, “I’d rather be doing this than anything else in the world!”


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