Here is the text of my second article for the Young Adult Network:
The new John Mayer album came out the other day. I’ve only listened to it a few times, but it’s kind of neat. Whenever I get a new album, I usually end up getting obsessed with the artist’s music for about a month—it may be a neurosis, call it what you will. Needless to say, I dug out my old John Mayer stuff. I remember all of the great times I had when I first loved those songs. I came across a song that I usually skip, 83, but I thought I’d give it another try. As the song was ending, I remembered why I always skipped it. The lyrics are complete cheese! I was about to shut it off when the lyrics struck me in a whole new way: “whatever happened to my lunch box, when came the day that it got thrown away and don’t you think I should have had some say in that decision?”
I wasn’t thinking about my lunchbox, though. I was thinking about my crayons. Hugh McLoed in his blog, Gaping Void, asserts that “everyone is born creative. Everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty, they take the crayons away and replace them with books on algebra, etc…” I remember this transition in my life. All of a sudden, I went from discovering my own solutions to learning someone else’s. At first, it felt natural; but after a few years I realized that I was missing something: creativity. I’m not just talking about drawing, painting, or acting. I’m talking about the freedom to explore the world and find new things, new solutions. I thought I would never get my crayons back. Then I met Jesus.
Have you ever thought of Jesus as creative? Search the scriptures! Watch God work through the Old and New Testaments! Watch Jesus’ ministry! Read the story where Jesus is questioned about fasting in Matthew 9:14-17: “…Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Everything that the Lord did was creative!
Oh, what power came back into my life when I realized that through Jesus Christ I was set free! Free from sin. Free from a condemned way of doing things. Free to see the world in new ways with my Jesus. Free to live life in blessed new ways!
Often I hear people that are turned away from God because of all of His “rules.” If you listen to some folks share the Gospel, it sounds just like a list of rules. How oppressive! Certainly God justifies our sin when we accept Him. God also calls us to a higher standard of living—to become like Christ through his sanctifying grace. I can see how becoming like Christ could be misconstrued as living under a bunch of rules, but look at the life and promises of Christ! What a free and creative man! My prayer for you and me is that as we strive to live like Christ we don’t miss out on the fullness that Christ lived and promised us: “…I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.” (John 10:10). Share the Gospel today. Share salvation. Share grace. Share Christ’s promise of a “full” life!