In a lot of ways this follows on from my last blog and for me was beautifully summed up in a sentence I read in a book about Asperger’s. What follows might appear as immodest as it is funny:
‘If it wasn’t for aspies the human race would be still sitting around having a meeting discussing the principles of the wheel rather than making it.’
I am not going to launch into a great discourse of inventors and innovators throughout history who were possibly autistic. Frankly there has been enough conjecture on the internet without me pitching in! All I can speak of is my experience as a child of God with autism.
We as autistics tend to be original/creative thinkers in some shape or form. I know of artists and computer programmers who have autism and are very gifted in these areas. My particular area of creativity had been in the technical design of buildings which nearly always meant coming up with a new way of putting something together. On one project I had to design how a wall made of straw- bales would attach to the steel frame of a building. Funnily enough nobody had done this before and for very good reasons too – and before you ask the client wasn’t one of the three little pigs!
The thing is that one of God’s many attributes is Creator and He has put into us that spark of creativity in various ways (with the exception of such things as ‘creative accounting’). We are all called to reflect that but reflect it first and foremost for His glory.
Colossian 3: v17 – And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Sadly I seemed to have missed the point of applying this verse to what I was doing when I was in architecture as I was too busy ensuring the architects ‘grand vision’ … ie that it stood up/didn’t leak/and didn’t burn to a crisp. I then continued to repeat the mistake when I was a train driver as I was too busy playing with trains. This, I believe led me into the trap of being defined by the job I was doing and not as a child of God.
It was only until a few weeks ago that I finally began to apply that verse from Colossians in conjunction with what I wrote in Part 3 of this series (when I wrote about renewing your thinking). God revealed to me that simply by stacking shelves ‘In the name of the Lord’ in a neat orderly, presentable fashion at the supermarket where I now work was a good place to start. This was not only walking away from the old pattern of thinking but also out-working (for me at least) a way of original thinking in an everyday scenario.
I don’t know whether this is where God wants me to be for the rest of my life; if so it is going to be a difficult and painful pill to swallow! However, first and foremost I am defined by God’s work of salvation through Jesus, not a job, not achievements, not possessions and not the monetary value an employer ascribes to me! It is the way in which we use what He has given us for His glory and kingdom that matters above all else.
Image Credit: Ben White