We have an amazing opportunity in our community that allows people with no artistic ability to create their own painting. It is a guided process that takes you step by step, technique by technique for a single painting. The business often does fundraisers for nonprofits, where a portion of the money collected is given to organization. It was at one of the Painting with a Purpose that I was introduced.
My pictures came up with my Facebook feed As a reminder of what happened that year. As I walked through this process for the first time back then, I thought about how the process mirrors our lives. As I shared my process on Facebook, I posted the comments in bold with the pictures. I thought they were worth sharing again and expanding here.
My life begins as a blank canvas. Each person is given one life with which to create their masterpiece. The reality is that I can choose daily to consider my life a blank canvas. Each day we are each given a fresh blank slate of 24 hours. I can also choose to start over at any point in time, releasing myself from past mistakes and choosing to begin anew with a blank slate.
Sometimes my life looks a mess, cause I am a work in progress. I often look at my life, and think “There is no way that this could possible be used for anything of purpose.” My life looks like such a mess at times. My focus is not on the process, but on what I perceive as the finished product. It doesn’t matter that there are more steps to take, I judge the end by where I am now. Regardless of my current mess, there is always more steps I can take to a better life.
At times things get flipped around. There will be times that nothing in life goes like I think it should. Everything feels turned upside down. I may feel over-extended, or just have a crazy bad day. I may think I am going one way and end up in a completely different place in life than I expected. There will be times like this in every life.
Sometimes I look at my neighbor and start to compare. We all do it at some point, comparing. Sometimes we look at others and see ourselves falling short. This is generally because we are comparing others‘ bests with our worst. The opposite can also happen where we judge ourselves to be superior in something. Generally we are comparing our motives to others perceived actions. Either way, comparison kills. It destroys creativity and potential, because we decide we might as well stop because we will never measure up. Or it destroys because we settle for where we are instead of continuing in the process because we reason were already better than others.
It may not look like the masterpiece I thought it should. So often we begin to try to shape our life after some other “masterpiece” instead of allowing God to define what our masterpiece life should look like. It is not that we are comparing, we are trying to copy something we were never designed to be. There are things we can learn from others, but we were never made to be a copy version of someone else.
And sometimes I have to take time to get a different perspective. We have an ideal in our mind and find our self disappointed because we are not as far along as we think we should be. Our life doesn’t look like we think it should. Often dreams are fulfilled, but never as we imagined in our life. Some times we have to step back and look at how much our life has changed for the better, instead of staying focused on the immediate step before us. Other times we need to allow the voices of others to help is see things differently because we get so tunneled in our vision that we miss the beauty in our own life.
But in the end, my life is just as the Creator painted it. We must realize that our life is designed with a uniqueness from the Creator. Our lives were never meant to look exactly like someone else. Even if our journeys were similar, our purpose, our reach, and the filters will not be exactly the same. Even the most subtle of difference make for a different creation.