My son, Justin, has been working really hard lately, and Debbie and I are very proud of him. In addition to working part-time as a teller at a local bank, he’s been attending Folsom Lake College full-time. In the last two weeks, books and notes and his laptop have been permanent fixtures on the dining table, as he’s been pulling some really late nights preparing for finals. Yesterday was his last final, and as would be expected of a teenager, he wanted to blow off some steam. So his childhood buddy, Zach, came over—and they started playing with Legos.
Now if you have children, you probably understand the magical effect Legos can have. Cars, dinosaurs, space ships, castles, and even entire cities have mystically emerged from our family’s Lego bucket over the last 15 years. Although Justin spent countless hours with his Legos as a little boy, this is definitely not normative for him as a nineteen year old. But as of this morning, Justin and Zach—along with sisters Rachel and Paige, and a little help from Dad—have produced two large X-wing fighters, a horse ranch, three rescue boats, a race car and two trucks, and a small town of helmeted Lego men. (Yes, we have a lot of Legos!)
There is a cost to all of this, of course. I’ve stepped on Legos with my bare feet a number of times now (a painful technique I’m sure they used during the Spanish Inquisition). There are Lego pieces all over the house, imbedded in the shag carpet and floating in people’s salads. I’m sure we’ll be hearing the tell-tale “ka-zing!” as we run the vacuum cleaner.
I think there is something spiritually healthy and formative in moments like these. When busy hands snap Lego pieces together with increasing complexity, it is a little like God building the universe, from strings to electrons to atoms to molecules, and finally to stars and galaxies and universes. Legos allow us to re-enact the first Chapter of Genesis in some small way. We create. We sit back. And we declare that it is good.
Of course, not everyone plays with Legos. That’s not the point. But we all have—or should have—Lego moments in our lives, times where we allow our souls to be inspired and create and declare the greatness of God through the act of creation. For some of us it might be cooking or scrapbooking, woodworking or welding, gardening or photography. For some, there is a guitar in the closet collecting dust, or a sewing machine that could use some use, or a half-finished crocheted afghan folded away somewhere, or a garage project that needs to be finished.
The act of creativity is intended to be a soul-filling activity, one that reminds us that we are a part of God’s great act of creation. And as we roll into summer, I encourage you to grab your Lego bucket and spill it on your living room rug. And then see what happens.