As the minutes ticked by, I found myself staring at a blank canvas. Pondering my next move, I laid down my brush and picked up my phone; maybe a picture or two would inspire some creativity. Surely, it wasn’t that difficult to create a landscape, or rustic barn with the help of a photo. But as the hour slowly passed, I found myself with a blank canvas, a palette of splattered colors, and a heated level of impatience and frustration. I canceled my picture-perfect afternoon. My need for perfection clouded my creativity and cost me a day of enjoyment and relaxation. I became anxious and doubted myself, therefore giving up altogether. What sounded like a fun day, sadly ended in frustration and discouragement.
Why is it that we, as humans, expect perfection in ourselves? Perhaps it’s the way we were raised or the environment we live in. I myself struggle with starting or completing anything if I’m subject to failure the first try. I lose out on many wonderful experiences simply because I expect perfection and success right away.
Life is a blank canvas, just waiting to be colored with sensational, picturesque scenes of opportunity. However, many of us miss out on life’s rewarding and colorful moments due to our unrealistic expectations. We let our need for perfection prevent us from attempting anything that feels out of reach. Our fear of ruining the canvas often leads to a less than colorful and enjoyable life. We have to remember that anything beautiful or worthwhile takes effort, detail, and patience.
The Ultimate Artist
Despite my frustration with painting, I’m reminded of an artist who never regrets his work. He is the ultimate creator that has designed the most picturesque works of any artist known to man. His detailed handiwork is filled with beauty and intricacy, entwined with every shade of color imaginable.
“In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land” (Psalm 95:4-5, NIV).
Our God is so incredible that he’s created beauty all around us in the form of nature. It’s a kind of beauty that cannot be replicated, but is often mimicked. Christ has created an entire earthly canvas for inspiration. He’s provided us with the talents and tools to create, but we’ll never see the potential if we refuse to color the canvas. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Grab a paintbrush and create something spectacular!
Madeleine Lowe writes from Indiana.
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