Below is an excerpt from an upcoming book called “It Is What You Make of It” by Pastor, Author, and Musical Artist Justin McRoberts. You can preorder the book NOW using the link below. Read below that and let me know what you think!
There was no “David” until Michelangelo took hammer and chisel and did the hard work of making it; up to that point there was only marble. Relatedly, Michelangelo only had a hammer to use because, before he was born, some blessed sister or brother used a large rock to crush smaller rock into splinters and then, eventually strapped a stick of some sort to a similar rock and discovered they could crush rock with even greater force.
Just about nothing is what it is. Not in a world inhabited by people created in the image of God, in whose hands is both creation and resurrection. The capacity to make and remake is a thumbprint of the Divine on Humanity. I’ll go so far as to say that we dishonor our Creator when we give in to “it is what it is” thinking.
Love doesn’t just win.
Mercy doesn’t just triumph.
Light doesn’t just cast out shadow.
Peace doesn’t just get a chance.
Forgiveness doesn’t just restore.
And time has never healed a single wound
without the loving, attentive way
people have spent that time after hurting one another.
All of these essential aspects of human life require the work of human hands; hands committed to a vision of the world made right (or at least a world made better).
Part of what it means to be an image bearer is that you and I get to take what we’ve been given and help make things new. Sometimes it means fixing something someone else broke. Sometimes something we broke. Sometimes that means dreaming and planing to make something nobody has seen before. Sometimes it means making something better instead of settling for something just working “well enough.” In all of it, the impulse to create, fix, restore, imagine, build and rebuild flows like living water from our identity in Christ; Christ who holds all things together and lives in you.
“Christ in you” wrote the Apostle Paul “the hope of glory.”
“Christ…” who took things like bread and dirt and water and made miracles “in you, the hope of glory.” “Christ…” who
“Christ…” who took a small group of souls and built the global movement we call The Church “in you, the hope of glory.”
“Christ…” who took Death Itself into his outstretched hands and made from it Life Eternal “in you, the hope of glory.”
I invite you to see yourself as one in whom Christ dwells. One through whom Christ works. One
with whom Christ is pleased to share an agent of love and redemption in your household, neighborhood, workplace(s), or wherever it is you go. I challenge you to wisely re-examine the apparently immovable systems you and I participate in (political, religious, economic) and to see your essential role in long-term change. I invite you to believe that you are a partner with God in the renewing of all things.
Theologian and journalist Abraham Kuyper wrote “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”
I like that quote for a few reasons. First because it is a beautiful and powerful expression of who Christ is. Second because, in light of who Christ is, that same quote speaks to you and me and who we are because of Christ in us.
Which is to say, I’m not offering a simple encouragement to “be creative” in a general sense and certainly not ads a matter of “self expression” or “art for the sake of art.” What I’m suggesting is that you and I are not only witnesses but participants in the character and work of God. I’m suggesting that, When you and I say “it is what it is,” we diminish the persons we are, the gifts we’ve been given and the call on your lives to share in God’s work where we live. More than that, I think saying “it is what it is” actually ignores the capacity and desire in God to make all things new.
So, in the spirit of that quote by Abraham Kuyper, I’ll leave you with this: Let there be not one square inch in all of human existence about which you and I say “it is what it is.” Instead, may it be so that every moment of our collective time here together is marked by the power and potential of the knowledge that it is what we make of it.
– Adapted from “It Is What You Make Of It” by Justin McRoberts