Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Creators or Consumers?

For a while I was pondering buying an iPad. The sleek design, the status symbol of the silver apple logo, the cool glass on your fingertips as you swipe your way through all kinds of apps. It was more than a want, it was a need, it felt like I would die without it.

But, I didn't get one. I was close, I went into the store with enough money in my pocket to buy one, but nothing ever eventuated. My 'need' was slowly surpassed by other 'needs' like a banjo or an ebook reader or a jazz guitar. 

My preparation for the purchase was huge. I looked at as many reviews I could find during my spare time, ranging from the "It will just be a dust magnet" to "It will flip your world upside down with its amazingness."

One review though was very interesting. It pointed out the difference between consuming information and creating it. It remarked that iPads were not meant to produce information, only to consume it. For instance, you could watch as many videos and read as many articles very comfortably on your iPad, but to go out and shoot film or to write stories, that was not what the iPad was designed for.

What about us humans? Are we designed to create or to consume?

In Ecclesiastes the writer makes this statement
There is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.

Cynical as it is, it is true. When we "create" things, all we are actually doing is rearranging atoms around that were already there. We are in a spiral of never ending consumption. Fulfilling our wants and needs.

Only God, who created from nothing, can be called the creator. Whether we choose to ignore him or to live for him, everything on this earth is supplied by him. In his grace, we are given the oxygen to breathe, the muscles to move, the earth to nurture, and so much more.

Another crushing blow to my pride knowing that I have no more independence than a child, but my response is praise and thanks knowing that God is love and his grace is never ending.


  1. What about abstract ideas? We can create abstract ideas, and they aren't just a "rearranging of atoms."

    1. Interesting. Even ideas, in my opinion, are based on things already created, maybe not in physical atom terms, but in terms of the layers of culture and humans understanding that have led to it being 'thought'.

      And in the same book, the writer says "[God] has also set eternity in the human heart". Eternity is a pretty abstract idea, wouldn't you think? And that finds its basis with God giving that thought to us.

    2. So what you're basically saying is humans don't create anything, a god we've never seen does.
      So if I sit back and act like a sheep for my whole life I'm contributing to society as much as if I invented, say, the computer? Because it's not me creating it, it's god anyway.

    3. God did create everything, yes (Although he is not unseen, we have seen him in Jesus). I should also add that it is in God's grace and love that we can invent new things, so ultimately it all does come back to God.

      This is said in Paul's letter to the early Christians, "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

      This also means that we can't slack off. My response is praise and thanks, and to use the gifts God has given me to work hard to help others.

      It is all about who the ultimate glory goes to.

  2. Yes, God is love and his grace is never ending. I like that thought a lot. We are so blessed by a very loving Heavenly Father to live in an era with so many things to make our lives easier. We can get caught up in consumption instead of giving service to those around us. The real live persons that we see and love each day. I love your thoughts!

  3. The difference between being cultivators/creators vs. being purely consumers is a very key concept to understanding many things in scripture, I am impressed with your analysis. I actually wrote a blog a while back called Legacy of Manhood about men being designed for cultivation instead of consumption... I would love your feedback if you have time!

  4. Hello
    I saw that you posted on my WordPress blog, and I literally started laughing because I have not been to that blog for a while! I created a new one because I thought WordPress was super lame. (But thanks for the comment!) Anyway, I'd love it if you checked out my BlogSpot blog:
    Thanks again!

  5. God is affection and his loveliness is certainly not ending. I comparable that believed a lot.