The first thing we learn about God is that he is a creator. “In the beginning, God created.” And then the next few chapters illustrate what that means—light and darkness, primordial soup and land masses lurching into existence at his word. Interestingly enough, the first things Adam and Eve do also fit the pattern: Naming and birthing and planting and working. Creativity, you might say, is the soul of what it means to have free will.

Something else I’ve never noticed before is that God created the heavens and the earth in a flash—POOF—but then he moved in and refined his creation, taking seven passes at it before he called it done. Each pass improved things, adding elements or modifying existing ones, and each time he said, “It is good.” As a writer and artist, I need to hear that. Editing is good. Each phase is good. Incomplete, but good. Sometimes I feel like editing is punishment, that taking another pass is tiresome. God’s creative fiat keeps coming back to his creation, energized and relishing each change he makes. Genesis 1 reads like a crescendo.

You could also say God re-created the formless mass he’d zapped into existence in a word … recreated…! Planet earth was God’s recreational project!

In this creative opera, there was imagination, decisions, words, poetry, song (the angels sang for joy), worship, sculpting (from clay), discernment, and more. What a beautiful description of our creative God and his modus operandi.