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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Learning to Live

Simple. That is how life should be. Wildly thrilling and abundantly overwhelming . . . in the simple. 
Glowing sunsets proclaiming HIS majesty. Crackling leaves scraping across pavement, driven by unexpected gusts of wind. Timeless words woven artfully together to create our favorite old stories, printed unadorned in black ink, marching across pages. Countless-repeated truths of God's Word flooding the heart with new-found meaning.

Still. Silence is not to be feared. 
The clock's ticking, the whippoorwill's cry, the breeze's whispered conversation with the trees--they are part of God's gift of stillness. Quietude. Tranquility. Serenity. They stir reflection, thoughts that turn to God and His goodness. Flashing lights, distracting screens, and blaring sounds all stashed away. Just God and me in this moment. A talk, a listen--a pouring out of me, and a pouring in of HIM.

Special. Life eternal is the most precious gift God could give us. Life temporal, that which we live now, is our only time of preparation for that wondrous life eternal.
It has been claimed that art is the creation of beauty. Certainly, then, God is the greatest Artist. Even his clay model, man, stirs heart-wonder. In imitation of the great Creator, let us create. Let us make art. Take what HE has given us--these days, these fleeting hours and moments, and fill them with color. Brush our canvas with strokes of joy, trust, wisdom, holiness, and peace--the exquisite paints the Artist gives when we abide in HIM. And when we make a mistake because we are mere replicas of the great Artist, let us go to HIM, dip our brushes in GRACE, and cover the mistake. The flaw is still there. We know it is; others may know. But it is covered now, in the past.
Is not this messy canvas, filled with all of our attempts and all of HIS teaching, a masterpiece? Ugly. Beautiful. Unique. Special. Our one special life to be presented to the Artist.

We are fallen. We are rebellious. The painting would be flawless if left to God alone. But He hands us a brush and smiles and nods toward the canvas. He tells us to dwell with Him every day we live, and He will teach us the technique. We cannot understand it all; we cannot ever become adept enough to strike out on our own. But we can glean snatches of his teaching every day. And our painting can turn out to be beautiful, stunning . . . grace-filled.

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