Most people, especially those who have never tried it, would probably not place computer programming high on their list of “fun” and creative activities. But it can be!

I have written computer programs for over 35 years, and I still enjoy it – particularly for the creativity it provides. Arguably, writing a computer program can actually be a form of worship as we model the creative activity of God.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

View of Earth from spaceEven people who don’t make a habit of reading the Bible could probably quote this verse from memory. The Hebrew word for created in this verse is bara. Bara is used several times throughout the Old Testament, and always refers to divine creation.

In the very beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. A few verses later, God created mankind – you and I – in His own image. God is the creator, and God created us to be creative.

We have an insatiable desire to create, whether producing a piece of art, starting a business, writing a book, or landscaping the yard. While our creativity is different from God’s, who made everything from nothing, the linkage of the image of God in man in creation to the cultural mandate in Genesis 1:26-27 speaks to our creative responsibility.Don Dunavant, Man ~ Made in the Image of God (SBC Life, 2009)

From our earliest days, most of us probably created things. Whether it was mud pies we talked our little siblings into eating, or the rock paperweight we made for our dad’s desk, or the time machine or princess castle or rocket ship constructed from the box the new washing machine came in, we created things.

While these are certainly not bara creations, we were being creative nonetheless.

Hopefully, you still enjoy being creative. Chocolate chip cookies, blogs, YouTube videos, musical compositions, financial models, computer programs. All of these engage your God-given creative ability, and creating should be fun and rewarding.

Woman coding using PythonFred Brooks, Jr., a classic author in the field of computer programming, posed the question, “Why is programming fun?” In his book The Mythical Man-Month, he began to answer his question by saying “First is the sheer joy of making things… I think this delight must be an image of God’s delight in making things, a delight shown in the distinctness and newness of each leaf and each snowflake.

Brooks identifies other reasons why programming is fun: “the pleasure of making things that are useful to others”; “the joy of always learning”; “the delight of working in such a tractable medium…pure thought-stuff”; and “because it gratifies creative longings built deep within us.”

The “pure thought-stuff” Brooks described is, in essence, the raw material of a computer program. The ideas, the concepts, the creativity all comes from the programmer’s mind – nothing else.

Writing a computer program can allow you to engage your God-given desire to create. Regardless of your major, consider taking an introductory computer programming class. You will be surprised at how creative you can be!

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