I think it’s in all of us. This urge to… cross off. check off. cross it out.
We did it. We met our demands of the day and we can take a deep breath and feel good about ourselves.
It gives us a sense of control. We accomplished something and now we get to cross it off.
It reminds me of a paint by number. I’m sure you remember completing one as a child. Each number corresponds with a certain section and different color. And when you follow the instructions you end up with this perfectly colored illustration. I was the kid who followed each and every instruction. I know there were some of you who could paint a #3 green even though you were clearly instructed to paint it blue. But I couldn’t bear to wander outside the directions.
It didn’t take much thought. Or creativity. But it did take effort. I could carefully stay in the lines, follow instructions and feel good about my completed work.
But I couldn’t look at my piece and call it art. It was just a task. A task that I had successfully completed.
You know, when we live our lives like that, it’s hard to call our existence a masterpiece. We follow instructions. We live our lives how we think we’re supposed to. We put in the effort. But at the end of the day, we’re left with a piece of work that was already constructed for us and we just happened to fill in the lines.
Jesus tells us that we are “His masterpiece” (or His “poema” in the Greek where we derive the word “poem”). But there are many days I feel far from a masterpiece. And I certainly don’t feel like a piece of poetry. So where do I go wrong?
If you’re an artist, you know that a pure piece of art takes time. It needs room to breathe. You need space to allow the creation to evolve and grow. Art must not be hurried.
And yet I rush my own life, rarely creating the time and space for God to have His way with me. Forgetting to stop and breathe; trying to hasten the process. Having a product of my life on showcase surpasses the greater work that He longs to develop; the slow, detailed, often painstaking work the Artist must go through with His creation. I’m over here cranking out paint by numbers and He’s just waiting for me to let Him do His greatest work.
I must pause long enough to let the Artist take the crayons from my hand, let Him grab His brush and create His masterpiece in me.
We are His masterpiece. Let that sink in to your very depth. YOU are His masterpiece. If we truly believe that, we will let Him take over and accomplish what only the Greatest Artist can do.
And let’s remember…the purpose of art is not to produce a product but to provoke thinking; to incite beauty. If we are God’s masterpiece, His greatest work of art, our lives should cause people to ponder the Creator, to reflect His beauty, to stir up their hearts toward the Artist.
Don’t trade your masterpiece of a life in for a bunch of paint by numbers.