Wednesday, August 21, 2013
a mental picture
While talking to God yesterday about the church, a mental picture crossed my mind. I thought of children and how they tend to color all over the page making random scrawls with all sorts of colors. When they are done they proudly display their "pictures" to Mom and Dad, eagerly awaiting words of praise and adoration for a job well done. That is how it should be, with children. However, as our children grow and mature, we don't assume or expect that their works of art will remain colorful scribbles, but hopefully they will develop into more distinct works of art. Works that we will at a glance be able to recognize specific shapes, sizes, and perhaps even themes.
Lately I have been praying over my church family more fervently. For quite some time our growth has been stunted numerically, but even more importantly, spiritually. I believe it is because we are still behaving like little children. We are consistently and even excitedly coloring page after page after page to give to Him. We should be well passed this stage. Not only should we be more skilled with our strokes, we should be asking the Master what it is HE wants us to paint and how HE wants us to paint it. What are HIS favorite colors? What is HIS favorite theme? But we aren't doing that. Even though our color pages in and of themselves are not evil, they simply are, well... simple. They do not produce a perfect picture of Christ that can be seen by the world and thus drawing them in to Him. Our pictures are merely ones that only we can recognize. You know how a child will say, "This is you, Mommy. This is Fido and this is me", only to the parents' eyes it all looks like a jumbled up mess.
There comes a point in time when we need to stop being childish. We need to cease doing things our way and finally surrender to God's way. Only then will we be able to make perfect strokes that result in complete works of art. Only then we will produce pages that our Heavenly Father will eagerly accept and proudly display for all to see because the final piece reveals the Master of our masterpiece.
(This was originally written in 2010. Since that time I have seen some growth in my particular church body. However, there is still room for much more. Of course I personalize that first and foremost.)