This is the background of a painting I’m working on. It’s meant to be a background, a foundation, a first layer. I started this piece with unbridled excitement. It’s experimental, it’s a leap, it’s not like anything I’ve done before, and I couldn’t wait to see it finished.
But something happened over the last couple of days, as I waited for it to be ready for the next layer. I became fond of the background. I became comfortable with it. I started to wonder if I couldn’t, maybe, just leave it the way it is.
It has a simple complexity to it. It reminds me of both the ocean and the sky depending on when I look at it.
I like it the way it is.
Instead of excitement over the finished project, today I felt fear over losing what I have now. Even though it was ready for the next step – I left it as is.
But tonight, I turned my eyes back to the plan, back to the reason I began this painting. I started to dream again. I started to envision the next layers, to get excited about the original vision. Tomorrow, I'll start work on the next layer.
* * *
I have purpose in this life. A race. A mission.
But sometimes I stop and I survey and I see how far I’ve come and I become fond of this place, this season.
I become comfortable.
Comfortable with my community, comfortable with my family, comfortable with my routines, comfortable with my habits. I forget the race. I forget the mission. I let fear freeze me.
I take my eyes off of eternity and dwell on the temporal. And when my focus is here and now, the excitement is drowned in fear.
I have to turn my eyes back to the plan. I have to dream again, to envision the next layers of the journey, to get excited about the mission.
The difference between the painting and my walk with God is this painting could end up total garbage. I could hate it. I could regret the moment I turned my eyes back to the plan.
But I won’t regret turning my eyes back to eternity. I won’t regret adding layer upon layer of surrender. I won’t regret any loss or failure or pain associated with the mission. I don’t know how the finished product will look, but I know it will be a masterpiece.
As for the painting, we’ll see.