The Ugly Stage

unfinished, paintingAn art instructor gave advice on the painting I was working on. Personally, I thought it was beyond redemption and was tempted to give up. I could blame it on my lack of ability, the materials, or the environment but that wouldn’t change the ugly picture in front of me.

Since it couldn’t get much worse, I decided to implement the tips I’d been given and carry on. The painting evolved and a tentative hope was born. When the final brushstrokes were made, I stepped back and looked at a work I didn’t think was possible. I was proud of what I’d accomplished.finished work

Something the instructor told me echoed in my mind. “Every painting goes through an ugly stage. Keep going and don’t give up because you’re not finished yet.”

We are in an ugly stage of life right now. The global pandemic has us in a holding pattern and I, for one, am getting impatient to move on. It feels like we’ve been stuck here forever.

Even in this, I have options. One is to give up hope the situation will improve. When despair takes hold my thoughts turn to what might have been, rather than my current reality. I focus on what I’m missing and not what I have. During these times I’m tempted to blame everything around me for my negative attitude.

The truth is, this picture is not finished yet. My better choice is to keep a positive outlook. Today’s decisions will impact my future so I need to be intentional with the brush strokes I make on this canvas of life. The picture is still evolving and I have hope for the outcome.

The ugly stage won’t last forever. When it’s finished, I want to be able to look back with pride at the picture that’s been created.

Creating a Masterpiece

#God, #The Lord, #inspiration,creation
Verna & I with our masterpieces

My friend and I entered unknown territory when we arrived at a paint night. I am definitely not an artist but looked forward to a new experience.

The instructor was someone I knew so I felt comfortable she’d be supportive and encouraging and not critical of my lack of ability.

When the class started we were given basic instructions and options to choose the type of painting we wanted to complete. What? I thought we’d be told what to do and how to do it and wasn’t prepared to make decisions.

We were told not to worry about our mistakes; they could always be painted over. I did this several times.

At one point I ended up with a big blob of paint on the canvas. My attempts to fix it just made things worse. I thought my picture was ruined. The instructor showed me how to remove the unwanted paint. I was surprised that such a big mistake could be redeemed.

The paint night experience was a good analogy of my life with God. Every day I wake up with a clean canvas. The Lord provides the paint and brushes and sends me out into the world to make a masterpiece for him. He doesn’t force me to make certain brush strokes but grants me the freedom to choose what I will create.
The Lord redeems my mistakes by showing me how to paint over them with something better. With the creator of the word instructing me, my life can become a masterpiece.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 NIV)