I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think the clean white canvas of the day is mine to design and that I can shape things any way I like. Oh, I might wave at God as I’m heading out the door, a nodding acquaintance, grateful that He’s out there somewhere, but not really stopping for a coffee chat. I imagine when I do that, that He might be wishing I’d come back for a little latte and some warm discussion of all that is possible in the day. Alas, I go on, seeking to create a work of art all on my own.
I’m reminded then of a quote by André Gide, “Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does, the better.” In the best sense a collaboration of any kind is one where two come together to determine the next steps, create the vision, and prepare the canvas of opportunity. I like collaboration. I like knowing someone else is there to share the risk and reward.
The good news is that I can’t simply design today all by myself, even if I want to. I can make the choice to nod at God as I go about my work, or I can choose to actually include His thoughts into what I’d like to do, but either way, I’m in a collaboration and the success of it depends on my willingness to be present, trusting and faithful to us, to what we bring to the table together. Sadly, I don’t always remember this.
When I realize that I’m valuing my independence, more than the opportunity to collaborate, it makes me want to pack up my paint brushes and go back and start the day again. Oh, sure, I may have had a stroke of genius when I was out there on my own. I may have stumbled upon some momentary brilliance, but nothing works quite as well as when I’m deliberate about the approach, willing to look at my true colors.
God has a design for your life and for mine. Like a parent who sends his partially grown teenager off to a college campus for the first time, He sends us off into the world to become all that we’re meant to be. But like a parent, He hopes we’ll call home often and remember that our greatest source of joy is knowing we’re not out in the world alone.
Let’s remember our Creator in all we do today, allowing His Master hand to vividly put us in the best possible direction, creating the most authentic canvas. We can give the greatest expression of our true selves when we collaborate with Him, becoming a paint brush in His hand.
Go out now and show your true colors! You’re an awesome design!
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8: 3-4