What inspires you? What stirs your soul, your passion? When you look at a blank canvas what is it you see, what do you imagine springing to life in front of you? What textures cross your thoughts, what hues burst inside your head and what colors come to life, exploding across an yet undetermined canvas sitting right there in front of you?
Our lives are much like a canvas, ready and waiting. Just one stroke of fresh paint begins our journey across a vast and wide, bare, empty, untouched canvas sitting atop the Master’s easel. From the moment we’re born, brushes are dipped in paint, fresh beautiful strokes touching our lives for the very first time, creating an individual masterpiece, the beginning of OUR own unique story. The Master, with His grace guides each stroke, dipping His brush into just the right color as His brilliant vision takes shape. As children we are delighted in the bright beautiful colors, the diversity in the landscape our lives take on. We bask in His skill, the subtle crafting and mixing of greens and yellows, the bringing together of hills and valleys. Yes as children we sit in awe of His technique and skill. Our hearts are still very soft and warm towards our teacher. Our spirits are still, taking everything in as He illustrates His inventiveness, inspiration, explaining His foresight as we continue studying His perfect form, wanting to imitate His likeness.
But then something happens, we become of age, feeling we now know better than He who created us, breathed life into our unmarked, bare lives. We become a bit grittier as our canvas becomes grainy and coarse. Many of our colors fade from bright and hopeful to gray, inauspicious and discouraging. We start to move away from being the student to becoming more of the artist of our own lives. As we gain more control of the brushes we feel we’ve become bolder, suddenly we know more than the One who loving taught us. We begin to push aside our Teacher who He Himself painted depth and beauty into our souls, impressing His expertise. Our distorted views begin to command the Mater’s touch across what once was a blank canvas. Our needs become the impressions taking shape, sketched, shaded and filling in, bleeding into the landscape of our lives.
What we fail to realize as adults is something we knew as children, a simple yet powerful lesson our Teacher once taught us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” ~ Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) So here goes life lesson # 47: Life is a blank canvas. It gets complicated, colors get muddled, and our landscapes become unbalanced. Maybe the truth is we become too comfortable in our own chaos. Just remember, “You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.” (Sophia Bush)
Yes, our potential is expansive, our dreams reachable if we would only stop trying so hard to push His hand too quickly, getting out of HIS way and out of our own. We are in such a hurry we over exaggerate lines, mixing colors without developing an objective. We lose the structure our canvas was originally formed upon. When we can slow down, take a deep breath and release control of our lives not only turning the canvas back over the Master but the brushes and pallet as well amazing lines begin to take shape. Piece by piece, blues and whites, greens and yellows burst back upon our canvas revealing His beauty, His majesty. As we allow the Master to take our shaky hands, guiding the brush strokes grace and beauty become the center of our canvas once again. Friendships, family ties, educational goals, personal triumphs that we’ve been too intently focused on, regrets and mistakes, memories come and gone fade into perfect context. When His mastery, command, awareness and His realization becomes our reality, peace becomes ours.
This is when life takes on a whole new perspective, when we see our life is not something to be compared to but rather to be shared. It’s in those moments we can stand back in awe, our Teacher beside us fully embraced for the beautiful mess that we are. In those moments, the rendering of our lives is brilliant and looking in His eyes we know beyond a shadow of a doubt He loves us. Our Teacher, the Master takes nothing but delight in us just as we are, imperfect, yet stunning, and magnificent in all our flaws. Our lessons, the unique story that is us, well they're His accomplishments as He looks on with pride, knowing we are the expression, the innovation of His inspiration.
Why, how do you ask can such a mess of color and blotwork become an exceptional piece of Art? All you have to ask yourself is whose signature is written across your canvas? Remember not only does a good good artist but the Master Himself knows this …“The colors live a remarkable life of their own after they have been applied to the canvas.” ~ Edvard Munch