A while back, I saw video about an artist who created enormous silkscreen prints to express the joys of Christmas. These panels were elaborate, colorful images made by painstakingly layering color upon color to reveal breath-taking, light-filled scenes from the Nativity story. The concepts, design, and artistry were brought to life by many, many hours of tedious work. Knowledge of this process increased my appreciation of the pieces, but it did not decrease the creativity or talent required to produce them.
When interviewed, the artist dismissed the talent and vision that inspired the beautiful pictures, focusing instead on the idea that he was a “hard worker”. Yes, the task was arduous, but few could conceive and execute such powerful art using this process.
How could he view his work and shrug it off as little more than tenacity? How could he underestimate the beauty he brought to the world?
Why do we all?
It seems that no matter what God has given us, we don’t see the value in it. We rush around trying to figure out how to gain the knowledge and skills we feel we need to do something important, wondering how to connect with the break-out opportunity God has for us. He, on the other hand, is wondering when you and I will wake up and see the wonderful, multidimensional people he has created us to be. You and I were perfectly designed to accomplish the tasks He tailor-made just for us.
I suppose the artist can be forgiven his statement because of the hours and hours of disciplined work required to bring his original idea to light. Inspiration often comes in a flash. Execution is a long, hard process.
The same is true for us. There are shining pictures in our heads of what our lives should look like, but creating those images is a daily slog through details and “stuff”. Until the last colors are applied, our lives–like these artistic panels–can appear to be a hot mess! It’s not until the end that we can see all the imagery, beauty, and light the Master envisioned right from the start.
Hope, faith, and appreciation are required throughout the process. Hope is a vision of who God created you to be and a continued searching for the signposts in your life. You need faith to believe that He who began a good work in you will complete it and appreciation for each shape and color that appears in the frame along the way.
Don’t compare yourself, your life, your journey with anyone else’s. You know too well the pain involved in each tiny gain and it’s easy to focus on the struggle while noticing only the victories of others.
Creating the beautiful, completed mosaic of your life isn’t easy. It’s not fast. You must step back from the canvas from time to time to see what is unfolding, to understand how the gray shadows enhance the rays of beautiful light and color.
Know this: you are valuable. You are a part of God’s plan–His masterpiece. Without the skills, effort, and love you bring to this world, a pixel would be missing from His final portrait of time. Let your light shine!