One Word 365 Part II: Create or Destroy

April 17, 2013

imagesThis year, I’m participating in the One Word 365 community.

My word, fittingly enough is create.

The events of this week have me thinking about create in a new way.  The bombing in Boston, the trial of Kermit Gosnell.  On and on it goes, the sheer destruction that people are capable of.

We really do have a choice to make.  We can choose to create…

…or we can choose to destroy.

Choose to Create or Destroy

I spend some time in the book exploring this choice, but I word it a little bit differently, and this week has me thinking anew on the power of our choices to create or to destroy.

One person on Monday chose to destroy.  

And a whole lot of other people, in response, chose to create.  Did you see all the Jesus look-alikes running around Boston?  They might not have even known they were dressed like Jesus in their running shoes or uniforms.  They were washing wounds and carrying people.  It’s amazing how every time satan shows up like this, Jesus seems to show up too, even in a pretty un-religious place like the Northeast.

For the last few weeks, another man has been on trial for the choices he is accused of making.

He will almost certainly be condemned for his choice to destroy life.  He took that mantle upon himself.  Where life was created, he destroyed it.  And in the process, he destroyed many hearts which still live.

If you have read Life After Art, you know that beautiful things are hard to create, and so very easy to destroy.

A Thousand Paper Cuts

It is the biggest, the bloodiest, the most shocking acts of destruction that cause us to stop momentarily.  Events of wanton destruction jar us, shock us, sadden us, make us cry out in despair.

But you and I are just as capable of a million tiny acts of destruction today.

We can tear down our brothers and sisters over old grudges.

We can end friendships and marriages over petty differences.

We can be harsh with our children, our calloused hearts not seeing how delicate theirs can be.

Most of us won’t ever murder someone with our hands, but we will be serial killers in our hearts.

We can destroy ourselves, with self abuse and tough criticism.  God knows how much I do that.

We can tear apart the body of Christ with our own selfish agendas and motives.

It’s death by a thousand paper cuts, and each of us has a razor blade.

Everyday Creators or Destroyers

Most adults that I talk to tell me they aren’t “creative.”

I say that’s not true.  We all have a choice to make – to be “everyday creatives.”  We can choose to build, to edify, to reach out, to strengthen, to grow.

Most of us would also not say that we are particularly destructive.  But it’s inside all of us – the ability and even instinct to tear down, to crush, to burn, to be “everyday destroyers.”

Today, I choose to create.  What are you creating today?

11 responses to One Word 365 Part II: Create or Destroy

  1. Nice post, but what’s with that little dig about Boston being “unreligious”?

    • Not a dig. The Northeast is just – factually – one of the less religiously oriented places in the country.

      • Citation? I’d be curious about how “religiously oriented” is being defined. Considering all the folks that showed up at the candlelight vigils over there, it looks to me like there are plenty of “religiously oriented” people in that town who just don’t happen to fit the Midwest/bible belt mold.

        Maybe it’s just me, but “Look at how Jesus is present even among all those godless secular humanists” sounds more condescending than helpful.

  2. You may have been trying to be funny about the “northeast”, but I love New England.
    Yeah, I’ve been riled lately about people trying to make their lives better by tearing down and destroying other lives. Life has enough problems without people making trouble. So much trouble; from the even larger explosions in Iraq the same day, to the kids who thought it was cool to steal a bird feeder off our property just to smash it in the street.

    I like the idea that when the devil shows up, so does Jesus.

  3. This is a fallen world filled with fallen people. There’s no escaping it, here (on this earth).

    But Jesus is in the mess, with us. He grieves with us. He will never leave us no matter how rough things get. And then He will raise us to new life.

  4. Great thoughts, Matt. Love this, “We all have a choice to make – to be “everyday creatives.” It is a choice.

  5. Oooo, today I want to be a Jesus look-alike. It’s snowing here, hard enough for a snow day for both schools and many business’ to be closed. I get to be a look alike to my family, sometimes the very people that I neglect in order to be a look-alike to the world (where everyone is watching.)
    Great post Matt! I’m off to bless!

  6. Man, I am bleeding after reading this! This has unfortunately been one of my misfortunes: “We can be harsh with our children, our calloused hearts not seeing how delicate theirs can be.” I want to pray that those moments in the past can one day be redeemed. I can see how this and the other items you mention can be used by the “destroyer” to cause us to commit “death by a thousand paper cuts, and each of us has a razor blade.” God, have mercy on me and us!