Creative Imperfection

Unfulfilling Ending

I didn’t always want to be a published author. Once I got a book published, I remembered why!

Every time I open New Creation: One Man’s Six Day Transformation, all I tend to see are the flaws. (This might not be the best time to suggest that you really want to buy my book.)

“Imperfection isn’t something we should merely accept:
It is something to embrace,
because that’s where true creativity lies.”

(David Corbett, Writer’s Digest, Sept. 2017)

I’m not alone in this feeling. The latest Writer’s Digest that showed up at my door had an article about silencing our inner critic. Since my inner critic has as big a mouth as I do, I needed this article. Along with the useful suggestions though, I found the ending somewhat disheartening. Until I found the spiritual application and then everything in my world was right again. But first, the quote!

Nothing is more exciting than the idea for your next book. You see all its possibilities and they beckon invitingly. Then, as you write, possibilities get narrowed down to actualities. Once you’re finished, the book is no longer what it could be, but simply what it is. One cannot escape a certain sense of having missed the mark† — a feeling that can only be assuaged by beginning the next book.  — LEE CHILD

As a writer who strives for excellence (and battles perfectionism) I have a hard time with that statement. Rationally, I know that when my novels are finished they’re not going to reach expectations. Thankfully, the spiritual application comforts me.

You may already know where I’m going with this spiritual application.

Genesis? That’s right! (You know me so well.)

Fulfilling Beginning

Yes, we’re going back to Genesis. To the very creation and foundation of the earth.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.  — Genesis 1:1-3a (ESV)

This spiritual application isn’t all that deep. It’s more a contrast between the Almighty Creator who creates and sees no wrong, no flaw, no imperfection, and those of us here on earth who are told to embrace imperfection because we are imperfect beings.

Satisfying Ending

There are 31,100 verses between “In the Beginning” in Genesis and the final “Amen” in Revelation 22:21.

“His purposes will ripen fast
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.”
(“Light Shining Out of Darkness”
William Cowper, 1731-1800)

Those verses are about God’s plan to redeem the creation that went from “very good” (Gen 1:31) to a creation in travail like a woman about to give birth (Rom 8:22-24). As the perfect and righteous Creator, He can do no different.

Even though I tend to see the flaws in New Creation I read it, I don’t regret writing or publishing it. I stand by its message — that the Son of God’s creation of the world and death on the cross are inextricably linked. Because He created the world to be very good, it is His nature to redeem it and will make it very good again.

For the Church, there is an even better hope. In the end, Jesus will present us to God holy and blameless (Col 1:22) and faultless (Jude 24) through His (Christ’s) own blood.

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” — Revelation 19:6-9 (NKJV, emphasis mine)

When the story of earth ends, the Author will not look upon it wishing that He’d done anything different.

That is a perfection we can embrace.


†As an aside, one of the words for “Sin” in the Greek NT is defined as “missing the mark.”

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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