March 30, 2015

The Power of Follow Through

This week I faced a bit of a challenge with one of my paintings.  I started painting a barn shaped birdhouse in a meadow, but part way through I realized that the bird house was a bit too big for the setting.  I was frustrated and wanted a do-over.  I just didn't like it!  I could have pitched the canvas, or put it into my storage closet, so I would forget about it for a couple of years.  Yes, I actually did have one that I put in the closet for a few years (see *).  But instead of resorting to those measures,  I decided to go to bed and sleep on it and revisit it the next day.

In the morning, I tried to see the painting with new eyes and reviewed all the possibilities.  Then I took a bold move and painted over the barn bird house with my forgiving acrylics and started working it into a larger life-size barn.  At that point it was too late to go back.  I was committed to making something out of this!  What it would turn out to be, I did not know.  I just let the Spirit and my paint brush take over.  As I worked, I still didn't like it, but the peanut gallery (my family) said that they liked it.  I grumbled to myself, but kept on working.  Then it happened.  It morphed into something that I actually liked, even though I didn't feel that way until I reached the very end and it was finished.

Evening Glow

Life is like that sometimes.  We may have the best intensions when starting something, but when we are in the midst of it, in a moment of frustration, we feel like quitting or giving up.  Did you ever start a project and for some reason or another, when you hit a brick wall, you just put it aside?  I can think of a few of my own, or several to be honest.  I once had an idea for a painting that I wanted to use as a fund raiser for a sweet little girl, but I hesitated for two weeks until I started it.  Did I finished it?  Find out below**.

Teachers of Thomas Edison said he was "too stupid to learn anything." He was considered "non-productive" and for this reason he was fired from his first two jobs.  He made 1000 unsuccessful  attempts at creating the light bulb until he got it right.  His secret?  He didn't give up!   He followed through.   Good thing, because we may still be in the dark!

As I have been reflecting about the cross and Easter coming up,  I thought about someone else who didn't give up.  Jesus could have taken one look at the cross, and walked away.  But instead, He died for me, for all of us, to take on our sin and make a way to reunite us to a Holy Heavenly Father.  If he didn't follow through we would have no chance of redemption and the ability to receive his free gift of salvation.

*Here is the painting I had in the back of the closet--I did get it out one day and finished it and I'm glad I did, because it sold right away.

                                                                    *Firefly Evening

** I ended up doing the fundraiser painting for the sweet little girl.  You can read about her story and what happened with the prints here.

**Hannah's Wish

We may not be able to invent something that will light the world, or do a single act that can save the world, but we don't know what impact we could have if we would only follow through with something that could have the potential to light up someone's world or save someone's life.  What are you putting off that you need to follow through with?

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