A few days ago, I took a social media quiz to determine my so-called ‘life quote’. I’m sure you’ve seen similar ‘tests’ regarding personality traits, how good of a friend you are, etc. I generally avoid them, but got sucked into this one nonetheless. 🙂
This is what my results showed:
“Your life is like a canvas: every morning it is up to you to decide if you like to keep on painting the same old picture or create a new one.”
While I don’t think this quote is the ultimate reflection of who I am, it stood out for several reasons. First, I hadn’t seen this quote before, so it made me stop and think.
Second, I have been pleasantly surprised at how much of a mood lifter the recent changes to my home have been. I have seen the value in changing my surroundings, which has prompted me to be open to change in other areas of my life.
Third, the idea of keeping the status quo or creating a new opportunity reminded me of a fun mom’s night out with friends two years ago. A local artist hosted a painting night, with a predetermined picture as the goal.
There were two options and I since I am not super crafty, I decided to go with the easier choice. The end result was supposed to be a silhouette of two song birds on a branch or wire. The little birds looked very cozy against an azure background.
I thought it was so cute, similar to this cheery picture I recently bought for my home.
At the beginning of our painting session, my friends and I were given the same size canvas and amount of paint, and the same directions and materials. It seemed fairly easy, and the artist gave us pointers as needed.
All was going well until…
I added too much white paint to the blue! I started spreading it around but that only made it worse. Of course I kept smearing the white paint, trying to blend it in…
As you can tell in the picture (below), my results looked nothing like the original plan! I tried to make the birds and the branches. But, it turned into a big mess. Soon, I took a step back and considered my options.
I could keep going and hope the old plan worked out—or I could go another direction entirely. The second option—the obvious choice—was a much better fit for my skill level…
Ok, clearly I’m not meant to be a painter! Stop laughing and let me explain!
I decided the white against the dark blue looked a little like a thunderstorm clouds. Or, possibly, a turbulent ocean… I couldn’t quite decide. 😉
Either way, I felt it represented a sense of turmoil.
In the end, I painted tiny v-shaped birds at the top of the clouds (or waves?!) to signify rising above the chaos. I wrote ‘Isaiah 40:31’ in the corner, and decided that was the best I could do! Whew!
As I think about that experience and the ‘life quote’ above, there are a few parallels.
Sometimes our life ‘canvas’ looks good. The brush strokes match up just as we envisioned. Occasionally, smudges or spills can make a big mess—and we feel like we have to start over. But, often, those creations turn out to be the most interesting.
Perhaps we just have to reframe the failure or make it into a new picture!
You might have to take a second look to see the hidden beauty and potential amidst all the smudges. You might not understand all that has happened in your life or how it could possibly turn out well.
Rest assured. You might not see God’s hand in it all. But, trust me—He’s there! He cares deeply about you and is the Master of second chances. It might not look perfect, but God can make our lives into a beautiful masterpiece as we rise above the chaos.
The key is letting Him show us what to keep (the old) and what to change (make new). Thank God, the final result is more dependent on Him leading us than our artistic talent!
God, thanks for seeing the beauty within us and for developing it in our lives. Thanks for second chances and new direction. Please continue making us—and remaking us—like You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions: When it comes to being artistic, do you prefer painting, drawing, photography, music, writing, food, or something else? Did you ever have a project that required a do-over…or a complete overhaul?
Task: Make something creative today!