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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Choices

We have a million bad analogies about what life is...here's one more.

Life is like an art class. Follow me on this one. When everyone arrives to class you have no supplies and no assignments. No rules to follow and we know nothing about what is going to be asked of us. As we go through our class week after week we find out what we are supposed to do. We are given rules to abide by and we are given resources to create artwork.

We quickly learn that if we do what is required of us, we get a good grade. However, when we decide not to complete assignments, or when we do them only half way we fail. Though we have been given instructions and the ability to pass our class with the proper tools in hand we still choose to fail.

Life is much like that. When we are first introduced to the world as a baby we know nothing. We have to learn everything. Our parents let things slide sometimes when we're young until "we're old enough to know better". Then once we get to that age we are given rules to live by and expectations to strive for. We are given all of the tools we need to reach these expectations, but we fail. We try and try and try and still fail. Until one day we hit that point that we realize what we're here for. We have a purpose.

Think of a canvas. It is completely blank just begging for color. That canvas can represent the results of our choices in life. It represents our soul. When we're young we have no ability to make life changing choices. Think of responsibility, trust, and freedom as our paint brushes and paint. When we're young our canvas is blank, but as we are given these three resources suddenly the picture starts to form.

First, we cheat on a test at school. There's a black swipe of paint on that blank canvas. Then you lie to your best friend. Another swipe. You make a bad decision at a party one night. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe.

What once was bright and full of possibility is now dark and limited. The future doesn't look bright anymore. You've made your decisions. Now you feel like you have failed as an artist.

You slowly walk to the head of the class with failed project in hand. You pass others who have made beautiful masterpieces. Then you notice a few people with canvases like yours. They are also black - some much darker, some lighter. They are taking their paintings to a man. You watch as they bring their painting to him in humility. He takes the painting from them and something amazing happens.

He has one paint brush in hand and one color of paint. Red. With this brush he makes wide strokes of red paint across their canvas, but it doesn't turn it red. The canvas turns white! Whiter than it ever was before. He smiles and gives them a new paint brush with bright gold letters that read: GRACE. As each one takes their new paintings back to their desks you realize something. Every person that has a beautiful painting has that same paint brush. GRACE.

The last person before me walks away. The joy gleams brightly through their eyes. Now its just you face to face with this man. You realize now that you will have to show him what you've done. The awful things you have done. He calls you over to him. Finally, you come.

He takes your painting and looks at it. He sees your mistakes, your sin, each and every brush stroke tells him the story of your life. He asks you a question.

"Do you believe I can take this from you?"

"Yes, but..but I don't deserve it."

"No one deserves it. If you deserved it you wouldn't need me. You wouldn't need a savior. My name is Jesus. I died so that these stains - the sin strokes - could be washed away. My blood can cover these sins."

"But, Jesus. I.. I have done such awful things. I know I don't deserve it. Just look at my painting. I deserve to fail. I deserve to be punished for what I have done."

"Look around you. Did anyone do this on their own? They all needed me They all need saved. Some people have less black than others on their canvas. Some may have very little, but everyone has sin. None are innocent, not one. "

"Its too easy. I feel like I am getting something for nothing."

"That's called grace, and its my gift to you...no strings attached."

You hand Him your painting. With each stroke of His red paint you feel the burden lift from you. He hands your bright white canvas back to you and says, "Now you are free from your sin. You are free to paint your canvas according to the life that was meant for you. I know you will make me proud".

You walk back to your seat in awe knowing that you have a new life and a new opportunity. You look down at your GRACE paintbrush and realize, "I can now paint a masterpiece".

1 comment:

  1. Miranda9/11/2006

    Wow, hon. You have found your calling. Keep your focus on God, and continue to let him work through you in this way. That was so awesome!

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