Essay Creative Work
It is a wonderful thought that God shares His divine endowments with man; that He, being our Father, hath bestowed upon us the power to manifest His characteristics. We are proud of these Godlike powers. We talk of our Godlike reason, and it is divine. We know that God reasons. We have evidence of it in the material world about us, and when we use our reason we are “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”
God has the marvelous power of imagination, using that word in its noblest sense. He has the power to conceive something in thought before it actually exists. He must have seen all the glories of the material universe, worlds upon worlds circling through space, moon and stars, the beauty of forest and stream, of tinted flower and iridescent insect wing before they were brought into being, and He had the power to create them. Man has this wonderful gift of imagination. The inventor sees the machine in his thought before he attempts to build it. The poet has the germ of his poem in mind, even the rhythm and rhyme, before he puts it on paper. To the imagination of the artist the canvas glows with color before his brush has touched it. The sculptor, looking at the rough block of marble, sees within it the imprisoned shape of beauty which his genius shall liberate to delight the world. The musician hears, singing through his brain, the marvelous harmonies which, put upon paper, shall entrance all hearers. Certainly this glorious gift of imagination is Godlike. But it would be useless if it were not accompanied by creative power. The inventor must be able to create as well as to imagine the engine. The poet, the musician, the artist fails of deserving the name if he cannot embody his thought in a form that others may recognize. He must not only imagine, but create. In some degree every intelligent human being has these powers. The housewife imagines her dinner before she prepares it, and a well-cooked dinner, placed upon a well-appointed table with care and taste, manifests something of the ability of the inventor and the artist. The same may be said of her who designs and creates an elegant costume, or arranges a room with taste and skill.
We appreciate the housewife’s culinary creation; we admire the tasteful creation of the dressmaker; we wonder at the glorious creation of artist or musician; perhaps we even envy them. But food and clothing pass away and are forgotten. Even the grand symphony, the beautiful picture, the graceful statue, may pass into oblivion, and man forget that they ever existed.
But humanity is endowed with creative powers that are not transient. The brains builded by the individual are transmitted to his posterity from generation to generation.
God’s greatest power is that of conferring life, sentient life. We might have imagined that that marvelous power he would have kept for Himself alone, but He has not done so. We have also the power to confer life. We can call into existence other human beings, and endow them with the record of our own lives, giving to them our form, our features, our measure of vitality, our tendencies, our habits; and these human beings whom we have thus called into life will never die. What diviner, more responsible gift could God have conferred upon us than this? What more worthy of our devout study? In this reverent attitude of mind let us study this gift of creative power, learning what we may of its scope and purpose and the material organs through which it works.
In your study of physiology in school you took up the organs of individual life. You studied the framework of the body, its machinery, its internal vital mechanism. You studied about digestion, nutrition, respiration, elimination, and in this you learned nothing of physical differences between individuals. All were considered as having the same organs, used in the same way. Girls have the same number of bones as boys, the same number of muscles, of vital organs. They sleep, breathe, eat, digest, grow, according to the same plan. So far there seems no reason why there should be any distinction of male and female. But as we come to study what is called special physiology we discover physical differences and reasons for their existence.
There are certain differences of form that are discernible at a glance. Men are usually larger than women. They have heavier bones and bigger muscles. They have broad shoulders and narrow hips, and have hair upon the face. Women have smooth faces, more rounded outlines, narrower shoulders and broader hips. In man the broadest part of the body is at the shoulders, in woman at the hips. This is significant of a great fact which will be manifest to you when you understand the functions of each sex. Although each has the same general plan of individual life, there are special functions which determine the trend of their lives. The man’s broad shoulders are indicative that he is to bear the heavy burdens of life—struggles for material support—and woman’s broad hips indicate that she is to bear the heavier burden of the race.
When we come fully to understand the deep significance of sex, we shall find in it a wonderful revelation of possibilities of development into a God-likeness that will stir our hearts to their very depths.
Humanity so weak, so lacking in appreciation of his possibilities, so groveling when he should soar, has been endowed with powers that give him control over the destiny of the race. We may well exclaim, with Young:
“How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,How complicate, how wonderful is man!How passing wonder He who made him such!Who centred in his make such strange extremes!From diff’rent natures, marvelously mix’d!Connection exquisite of distant worlds!Distinguish’d link in being’s endless chain!Midway from nothing to the Deity!”