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Be an artist

Picasso once spoke of all children being artists - but then he quickly changed his thought to the idea that it is hard to "remain" an artist as one grows up. I have to say I kind of agree with him - we get so wrapped up in the complexities of growing up and all the decisions that come with being "adult" that we often forget the simplicity and beauty of just being ourselves. When we are ourselves, there is a freedom of expression, movement, and voice that isn't heard when we are guarding each movement, scrutinizing every expression, or worrying about whether our voice will be heard or count in the scheme of things.

Then it dawned on me that this is good and proper: to eat and drink and find the good in all the toil that we undertake under the sun during the few days God has given, for this is our lot in life.  Also, God gives wealth, possessions, and power to enjoy those things, and He allows them to accept their lot in life and to enjoy hard work. This is God’s gift.  For people like this have no time to despair over life because God keeps them so busy with a deep-seated joy. (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 VOICE)

God intends for us to keep busy with our work, whatever that may be. There is no room for us to be worried, though - for he has all our days in his hands and has designed the work we are about to undertake. He gives us the strength to sustain us in the tasks at hand, and he also gives us the joy to revel in them and experience a deep-seated sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Do we always do things well? No. Are we able to revisit things on occasion to rework them? Yes. Do we always find the solution we are looking for? No - but the solution we may find could just be the one we didn't consider until God directed us toward it!

I believe God wants us to be as little children - with open eyes, enthusiastically embracing the things before us, eager to experience things in a new way. We grow when we face life this way - for we don't see it as a challenge or a drudgery, but as an opportunity and a hope. As Picasso said, children have this heart of enthusiastic expression, allowing their God-given imagination to take them into places they have not explored before. I think God wants us to be a little more open to going places with him we haven't explored before and to allow ourselves to enjoy the things he has given us - whether wealth, possessions, power, or relationships. 

We miss so much of life because we are focused on the work of it. We don't get the most out of our work because we see the work as a task rather than an opportunity to find joy. God says it is good to enjoy hard work. I probably don't enjoy yard work all that much, but when I take out old shrubs and replace them with a full bed of seasonal flowers, my heart is made warm by the welcoming feeling I get as I gaze upon the freshness and beauty my hands were able to create in that garden. Sure, God made those flowers, and even the soil into which I planted them, but he gave me the ability, helped me do the hard work, and then allows me the privilege of standing back to admire the beauty all around me. This is as it should be - for God expects us to enjoy our labor.

We might all do well to embrace the "artist" within - allowing ourselves the freedom to be expressive, the joy in being creative, and the deep satisfaction of having engaged in the hard work of the day. Just sayin!

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