Human imagination is clearly implied in God’s mandate to Adam and Eve to develop the creation out of the raw materials He provided. And human imagination has been at work ever since.
Note the quotation about a bar of iron. The value of an item is not necessarily found in the item itself. For something to have value, it must first be discovered by a human. Human imagination must be applied to envision its potential.
For generations, oil existed underground, brimming with hidden potential. But only when humans discovered it did that potential begin to unfold. Someone wondered, “What is this black sticky stuff good for? Why did God put this here? What is its hidden potential?” The great American scientist George Washington Carver held a peanut in his hand and asked “God, what have you made the peanut for?” He spent his life answering that question and ended up producing over two hundred uses for the “insignificant” peanut.
Imagination can be applied to find the purpose of a discovery. In this vein, people came to develop uses for oil: light for lamps, heat for homes, power for machinery. With oil we have flown around the world and to the moon.
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible,” (Hebrews 11:3 NIV). This text establishes that the unseen God produced the seen universe. The invisible produces the visible. The minds of individuals transform the “worthless” into the priceless.
Human imagination enables people as secondary creators working with God’s primary creation
In other words, it is not the limited physical capital in commodities, but the vast metaphysical capital in human beings, that contributes value to the world. The capital of human minds leads to discovery. Human imagination transforms rocks and flowers into colors, and transforms colors into paints that are applied to canvas that produce a masterpiece. This is the capital that can transform “worthless,” insignificant sand into glass, that remarkable invention which admits light while barring weather. Sand is converted into a chip to power a computer or cell phone. Metaphysical capital is found in the human heart (moral imagination) and mind (worldview). It is the metaphysical capital of Judeo-Christian theism that provides the greatest source for transformation of raw materials, communities or nations.
“And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food,’” Genesis 1:29. The Hebrew word “behold” is meant to call attention to something. “Look at the seed!” Do you see a tiny, meaningless bit of matter? Or do you see the vast potential of the seed? What can that seed produce? Can you see the forest in the seed?
So, yes, the real value of an iron bar is found in what a human being will make of it.
However, I would like to qualify the last part of this anonymous statement: “Your own value is determined also by what you are able to make of yourself.”
At least two issues relate to one’s own worth. The first and most basic is one’s intrinsic worth. The other is one’s potential worth. What will you make of your life? What will you do with the capital God has invested in you?
Human imagination is yours to apply to the world
Our value is not found in what we do. Our value is intrinsic; we are made in the image of God . Each of us has intrinsic worth that cannot be augmented or diminished by anyone or by the state. It is built into our very nature.
And each person has been given a treasure of capital. This treasure is evidenced in our interests, skills, and God-given abilities; it abides in our minds, hearts, wills, in our ability to think analytically and creatively, and to act volitionally.
Here is a valuable lesson: our worth is intrinsic. From this truth we derive that every human has the opportunity and responsibility to use his or her metaphysical capital to create beautiful, edifying and useful things to increase the health and flourishing of our families and communities.
Will you make something of your life that will glorify God and contribute to your community? What will you do with the metaphysical capital you have been given?
Behold, the seed!
– Darrow Miller
 J.R.R. Tolkien writes about human metaphysical power to distinguish colors: “The human mind, endowed with the powers of generalization and abstraction, sees not only green-grass, discriminating it from other things (and finding it fair to look upon), but sees that it is green as well as being grass. But how powerful, how stimulating to the very faculty that produced it, was the invention of the adjective … The mind that thought of light, heavy, grey, yellow, still, swift, also conceived of magic that would make heavy things light and able to fly, turn grey lead into yellow gold, and the still rock into a swift water. If it could do the one, it could do the other; it inevitably did both. When we can take green from grass, blue from heaven, and red from blood, we have already an enchanter’s power—upon one plane; and the desire to wield that power in the world external to our minds awakes … Man becomes a sub-creator. Tree and Leaf, pp. 27-28.