If you look at the great masterpieces of art in a gallery, you might think that each and every stroke was carefully placed exactly where it was supposed to go. In reality, artists make many mistakes and smudges on their canvases, but they just keep painting over them and around them, turning the layers of paint into the beutiful works you and I enjoy.
In life, we start out as a blank canvas, unaware of the dangers, fears, and failures in the world. We happily slap the color of our dreams onto our canvas, but flaws and failures soon begin to shape the image that is taking place in front of us. What do we do then?
We need to realize that we paint on our canvas every day; every word, every gesture – whether good or bad – is another stroke on our painting. Life continues and we experience joy and pain, triumph and tragedy, changing our painting into something totally different from our original plan. While the surface colors may still be bright, the undertones are dark. They reflect the harsh reality that we all must face and grow from, but they also add depth to the image.
We cross many bridges in our lives. As I cross the bridge from teenager to adult, I take a moment to admire my life. I look at the pattern of my past as well as the design on the path I’m on, realizing I have an opportunity to take the paintbrush and control which way it flows. I can choose to allow Holy Ghost to direct my brush strokes, or I can decide to do it myself, or I can allow others to paint my destiny for me.
With every pass of the brush, however, I don’t have to worry. If I make decisions that cause the image not to flow with the painting, it’s OK. This is where God comes back in, taking my hand and guiding my strokes.
We are not supposed to rely on ourselves to finish the painting of our lives! Whether you realize it or not, we are all a work in progress. God can take the seemingly ugly things that happen to us or that we choose to do, blend them into the paint on the canvas, and turn them into the very things that make our lives a beautiful masterpiece.
~by Madison Sanders