Juggling Fire

In the Beginning

I used to groan at the thought of reading from the Book of Genesis … again. I mean, how much more could we possibly know about God creating this and that and animals and arks and sibling rivalry? Yawn. That’s so old school.

As I walk along with God (ok, it’s actually God dragging me sometimes), I am discovering the pure beauty and actual simplicity (yes, I said simplicity) of God’s foundation for us. Now, in my “older” and surely wiser years, I have trouble getting past Genesis 1!

How crazy is creation, right?!?

I finished reading The Message Bible last week, and I dug into my new Bible – the New King James Version of the New Spirit-Filled Life Bible. With all those “New”s in there, it’s bound to be refreshing.

So, new Bible, new reading plan, new journal page, new box of colored pencils … same old Genesis. Blah.

But wait! That’s one of the great things about God. He “who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Eph. 3:20 NKJV),” can even make Genesis 1 seem brand spanking new!

So, I began … at the beginning … one more time: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Yeah, yeah.

I read that sentence again, just to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

I noted in my head that the word “beginning” marks a passage of time, sort of, so I shimmied my purple map pencil – because the color purple is how I like to mark time sequences in my Bibles – out of the brand new box of pencils I bought last week down at Hughes Pharmacy, and I underlined the word “beginning.”

Then I got to thinking: when exactly was the beginning? People have been trying to answer that for centuries. Then I got to thinking even more: what exactly was before the beginning? And I tried to imagine God up there, out there, around there – wherever God is, which is everywhere – but in the middle of nowhere, all at the same time, with nothing and everything all at once. Wow! I had not even gotten past the first sentence of Genesis 1, and already God gave me something new to chew on.

So before I read on, I wrote out a project that might help youth comprehend the nothingness and everythingness of the beginning. If and when I ever get the opportunity to put the exercise into motion, here’s what it is: create something. Anything. I don’t care what it is. It could be a stick figure drawing, an essay, or a space ship. After looking at all their creations, either that day or the next day or whenever, I would ask them, “What was your creation before you made it?” Discuss.

Make sense? But the coolest part is, I realized, just now, that even by creating the project for a group that doesn’t exist, I have in turn created something out of nothing for many. What did not exist last week now does, and all I had to do was think it, write it, speak it, whatever, into existence, and voila, it now simply is. Easy, huh?

And that craziness helped me understand a little bit more about how God works.


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