In Latin, this phrase is ex nihilo. We associate the concept with creation and the beginning of the first book of the bible, Genesis: “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form or shape….” God creates and makes something out of nothingness.
What would it be like for us to do the same thing? To create something out of nothing? It’s done all the time. Businesses produce products and services from an idea, making something that wasn’t there before. We can even say that about life. Parents come together and create a life that wasn’t there before, being made up of unique DNA and qualities. Have you ever thought about the ways that you create “out of nothing” in the course of your daily life? We can do this in many different ways. We can create a new way of solving a problem or we can create a problem out of nothing. We can create a new way of doing something, different from the way we did it before, or we can create how we perceive a situation based on how we are experiencing it. We can build up our lives with these creations, and we can tear down. We can see ourselves in newly creative ways that are both life-giving and life-destructive. The choice can become yours.
A client of mine recently shared a story. He was listening to the Garth Brooks satellite radio station. Garth shared that each morning he gets us and puts his feet on the floor, his first thought is that of a blank, white canvas. That canvas represents his day and he gets to be creative with it throughout his day! He paints and creates his day out of nothing.
How often might you and I, as we awake, take a look at our day in a not-so-creative way? “I am not looking forward to that meeting at 1pm today with ….” “I have to have a conversation today with my child’s teacher about….” And some of these thoughts can paint quite a not-so-pretty picture of our day, especially if we are dreading it.
What might out day look like, first thing in the morning, if we saw a blank canvas and thought, “In thanksgiving for this day given to me, I am going to create (out of nothing) a day full of life-giving moments that will bring life and light to others and to myself?” What might our energy and perspective on the day look and feel like in that moment? Instead of dread, why not try delight?
Each day is a blank canvas, a screenshot of nothingness that is just waiting for you and me to put our hand to the brush and create something new, something different, something life-giving, something that connects us to our purpose and a larger picture.