Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Letting Go Of Perfection

Last fall, I bought myself this small watercolor kit and decided to play around with it.

I painted some autumn leaves.

I painted a landscape scene from our nature preserve.

And then I stopped.

It wasn't that I didn't enjoy the process. I did. It was a great exercise in being observant. Furthermore, I had a very limited palette of paints, but still managed to capture the color and feel.

So why did I stop painting? I stopped because it wasn't perfect. The skies did not open and God's finger did not point down at me from the heavens to declare the new purpose of my life.

It seems I've developed a real problem with perfection.

My mom went on a stamping retreat weekend, where she told me she made sixty cards. I would be lucky if I came away with six in the same amount of time.

The truth is, I am my own harshest critic. It is not godly humility. It is crushing defeat. It comes from a place in my psyche where fear is allowed to wreak havoc. It's the same place where I find myself toe to toe with ( fill in the name of any person here) and find that I do not measure up.

Today, I was talking about those fears with a friend. She mentioned how this verse in Luke's telling of the Christmas story had an impact on her:

"When Zechariah saw him (the angel Gabriel), he was startled and was gripped with fear." Luke 1:12

Gripped with fear. Yep. I've been there. Fear keeps me in stasis. I am in its grip.

But God is working on me. He's giving me the same message that he gave to Zechariah through Gabriel. Do not be afraid.

And here's a little fearless fellow. He has to be brave enough to enter the yard of a labrador retriever every day just to eat his lunch. 

I think I can learn a thing or two from him.

1 comment:

  1. Okay...like I said on the phone...go check-out Carla Sonheim's The Art of Silliness site...yesterday we played with shading, today watercolors. No pressure. Perfection is shunned upon. It's about releasing all that AND having fun with the process. I think one of the imaginary fellows you create will become card stock worthy! Can't wait to see the results. Now GO!