My kids love Legos. I didn’t have many growing up–now we have dozens of sets. I’ve always preferred following the little instruction book. There’s a certain safety and security in following someone else’s creative process to build something that looks as cool as the picture. Whenever I attempted to “free build” I quickly became frustrated, and never really enjoyed the final project.
Now I have children who love to free build. They can artistically use those blocks and come up with the most elegant designs–it’s truly amazing to me.
I took piano lessons for twelve years. I got to a middling level where I could play novice music after a ton of practice. I’ve certainly never composed anything. Whenever I’m playing a more difficult piece, I think, “How can I do this?” But then the second thought is even greater: “How did Beethoven write this?!” True mastery is more than the imitation of genius.
Then I think about the piano itself. How did someone design this cabinet of hammers and wires? How did they fashion its parts? True mastery is more than playing someone else’s machine.
Once I was invited to speak to some kids about how amazing God is as our Creator. I took my tools, a piece of wood, and a pad of paper with some plans. I explained that when humans build–they need plans and tools and materials. We’re pretty good at making cool stuff with plans and tools and materials. But look at all the cool stuff God has made out of His mind. The True Master–He imitates no genius. The True Master–He doesn’t need someone else’s tools. The True Master–He free builds without someone else’s plans.