I hear variations of this phrase many, many times a day. From block towers and doll clothes made out of paper, to wonderful crayon drawings. I love hearing the phrase “Look what I made". It gives me insight to how my kids think and what matters to them in that moment.
A few weeks ago, as I was getting the house ready for company, Nora drew a green dot and cut it out. She then used about a half a roll of scotch tape to stick it to the wall as a "decoration". I had to silence the voice in my head which was screaming, “No! That’s not a decoration at all.” I smiled and left it up. It was, after all, her Birthday. When the house was all polished and clean, all I could see was that ridiculous green dot on the wall.
“Look what I made” isn’t something people grow out of. If you love Pinterest, it’s just a smorgasbord of “Look what I made”. I've spent more hours there than I care to admit. I think God's cool with Pinterest. We are made in his image and he's a creator. Being creative is a way to connect with Him. But the “Look what I made” thinking can go terribly wrong.
One of the discussions we often have in our house revolves around who made something -specifically between God and people. Some questions are easy. “Does God make airplanes or do people?” And some are tougher. Hudson will say, “ That cave we hiked by yesterday, did God make that or did people?” Our favorite hiking spots are almost all sculpted by God, but there are steps carved into some of the changes in elevation that definitely have a human mark on them.
Sometimes, we address the biggest truth in this line of thinking. It’s all made by God. When my Grandpa was alive, he built airplanes in his garage. But it was only because God gave him the gift and willingness to build them it was even possible. God invented all the technology that could make flying possible long before Wilbur and Orville ever played with kites.
Our church just finished a sermon series on the minor prophets. It’s amazing the number of times God’s people turned away from Him and said, “look what I made” and then began to worship their creation instead of the one who created them. God is serious about us worshipping things that aren’t Him. There’s a reason "You shall have no other gods before me" is the first commandment. He knows our tendency to make things like alters and golden calfs and allow them to become gods. While I've never made a golden calf, I've worshipped plenty of my own creations.
A few weeks ago, we had a big Birthday party for our daughter. (The one who loves that green dot). It was pizza parlor themed and we made all kinds of fun decorations and activities with the kids. I put a bunch of pictures on Facebook and enjoyed all the comments that followed. At some point late in the night, I realized I was still refreshing the post to see the compliments. But I was missing the point entirely. I was thinking, “Look what I made.” And God was probably thinking, “Nope. I made it all. Including the little girl you were celebrating. And isn’t she amazing?”
It’s time for me to switch the phrase to “Look what God made”. When I see a mountain. When I walk outside. When I hear my kids laugh. When I read about some new breakthrough in science. When people give me a compliment. When we get a paycheck. When I wake up to a new day. It’s all His -all made by Him. And isn't it amazing?