What time is it?!
Its finally here, graduations happened, everyone’s wearing shorts and getting (0r in my case attempting to get) tan. Pools are open, freckles are more visible and we all get to experience a little bit more rest than we have for the past nine months. And for me, summer is for (some) free-time!
One of my favorite parts about the summer is that I get to delve back into the hobbies I don’t have time for during the school year. Such as reading, sketching, learning new songs, writing etc… I try to do these things during the fall and spring semesters, but its during the summer months that I have more time to focus on these hobbies and improve my skills in these areas. I think hobbies are a wonderful thing to have. I hope someday to have a career that involves my creative interests and talents, and whether that happens or not, I will still explore them and the length my talents and abilities can stretch.
For instance, recently I have been exploring some aspects of art and realized that, currently, my favorite medium to use is charcoal. I have always enjoyed using pencil because I admire the black, white and grey hues as opposed to the color. I love the effect and depth smudging and shading can add to a piece. Let me clarify one thing, I in no way, shape, or form consider myself an amazing artist; or writer for that matter. I just consider myself a person who has a eternally burning, passion for these things, so I do them because I just can’t, not. And what I have learned recently is that God has instilled in each of us passions, talents, and desires to use for his glory, and despite how alone we may feel, God knows us better than we know ourselves. He created us with the talents and passions we sometimes find so hard to express. God told the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5 that, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” and in Psalm 139:13 David exclaims, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” God knew us before we were created and the most amazing part of it all, is before we were born He loved us in ways we cannot even begin to comprehend.
What I love most about drawing or sketching with charcoal, or any medium for that matter, is that you slowly build on each layer and create this beautiful depth and warmth to the picture. The shadows go on forever and you can build and build, layer upon layer as dark or light as you want. As deep and rich as you desire. And the picture will always seem to capture the viewer. You’ll find yourself lost in the shadows of these hues of black, white and grey. The art will overwhelm you and you’ll never be able to take in all that is on the canvass. And no matter the quality, that alone, is so beautiful to me.
Friends. This is a beautiful analogy of God’s love. He, the eternal artist, takes us as we are, blank canvasses. And once we hand over all the materials to Him, not some or the ones we don’t like, but literally all, He begins to sketch His love and mercy on us. His love is not one-dimetional. Its so deep and full. He is constantly building layer upon layer of love that we will never fully grasp. He adds highlights and shadows and just when we think we experienced it all He adds more and more to this masterpiece He’s creating with our broken yet surrendered lives.
And the most humbling and beautiful part is we don’t deserve it. We deserve death. The fact that we have salvation is so much more than enough. He not only saves us from the eternal damnation, but because He is such a good, good father, He chooses to love us and give us an abundant and enjoyable life. And an opportunity to serve and experience Him. We get to experience and know the God of the universe!!! God knows you better than you can ever know yourself, He has instilled dreams and desires in your life to serve Him. Never shy away from the passions He has gifted you with. Let Him continue to create a work of art in you, because he already sees us as so much more than we can ever be on our own. So pick up the pencil or paintbrush or guitar or basketball or script or computer or whatever is on your heart. Pick up what drives you, and don’t stop doing it. But maybe adjust your perspective on why you do it. Or rather “WHO,” you’re doing it for. God wants us to find joy and peace in him, rest in His love today and be encouraged that we will never comprehend it. Because if we did, what we would we do after that?
Let God begin, continue and finish the work of art He started in you long before you were even formed in your mother’s womb. He loves us so much, and He is so SO GOOD!