I just finished teaching a class, “Wacky World-Building” to a batch of children at a local community college. As a science fiction and fantasy fanatic, as well as an avid learner, this was a dream come true. I literally spent hours looking up incredible pictures and videos to inspire my students, and loved that my only major rule was: be original!
Even more than the excuse to wave my geek flag was the delight I had in sharing what, for me, is an often-trying, but deeply worshipful experience.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1
Creativity is an essential part of the nature of God. It’s His creative nature that is literally responsible for our existence—and the existence of everything! In following in his steps by creating our own worlds, we can be imitators of that creative process.
And in the process, we gain humility.
Because creating is hard.
Just ask my students. One of my rules of “originality” was that they had to think of as many new names for things as possible. Just that act alone drove one student bonkers. He couldn’t imagine how he could uniquely name all of these plants, animals, and planets he had created!
Imagine how Adam felt in the garden of Eden. What an incredible responsibility! In allowing him to do this, God was intimately involving Adam in His creative process (as well as giving him formal dominion over the earth and all the creatures it contained).
Another rule of “originality” was creating a new creature. In order to spur imagination, I presented a slide show filled with actual creatures in God’s world. Even the most worldly-wise student was astounded by the star-nosed mole, the blue-faced monkey, and the dugong.
When they set about their own animal creations, they decided the best thing was to combine bits and bobs from the existing animal world. Again, drawn back to the original Creator, Whose work cannot truly be equaled by mortal minds.
To me, this is the essence of worshipful world-building. Reverently studying all the wonderful aspects of the creative world, then trying to make it new, in a way that reflects God’s truth and brings glory to Him alone.
Go to Creating Science Fiction and Fantasy Worlds for a step-by-step world-building process using the 7 days of creation as a model.