Friday, January 23, 2009

The Never-ending Season

Usually discussion about a never-ending season has something to do with a sports team that wishes the season would end -- but it never seems to.

Let's flip that description over for a moment. What about a growing season that just goes on and on, producing fruit constantly? If the purpose of a fruit tree is to bear fruit, wouldn't it be wonderful if it always bore fruit without and off season?

I never started this week out with an intention to write every day about this subject. If you remember, I just told a frustrating story about a faucet repair that was giving me trouble.

Here I am on Friday still writing about wise life investments. Why? Primarily because of some of the great comments I have received in response. Thank you!

I close this topic (for now) by telling you something I deeply believe...

For we are God’s masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

A masterpiece doesn't lose value as it grows older. In fact, it's just the opposite. A major retirement community in my state was once named as one of the highest suicide rates in the U.S. Here was a place where a person retired in order to live "the good life." Golf, tennis, concerts, great food -- after all, wasn't that why they worked all those years -- to end up here? But, people who decide that a life of value to others is over quickly lose a reason to live.

A masterpiece isn't limited in value because it is young. I have a very special work of art framed on my office wall. Some people might wonder why I would frame a finger-painting obviously done by a child. The answer is simple. The artist -- Chickie -- is, to me, a masterpiece. That piece in my private collection is the very first work of art I received from one of my grandchildren.

The value of a masterpiece isn't diminished because of human limitations. If it is, let's remove the aural memory of Beethoven's music playing in our minds.

Looking back over the past few days, no one who reads this would question the "masterpiece" label for Michael Jordan on a basketball floor. However, my grandmother was similarly a masterpiece. So was Virginia.

So are you.

Full of value and designed by the Master Designer, we are given the responsibility to decide every day: Will I waste my existence?

Or will I yield myself as one completely available to the purposes of the Artist?


Rachel Cotterill said...

Paintings have the advantage that, once created, they don't have to put any effort into remaining as paintings.

We (and the fruit trees) need time off. Eight hours sleep every night if nothing else - and sometimes today has to be a day 'wasted' to gather energy for tomorrow.

Sandra said...

"Full of value and designed by the Master Designer, we are given the responsibility to decide every day: Will I waste my existence?" Well said.

When I worked at the jail, I constantly saw people who had wasted their God-given talents. How sad it must make God to see His "masterpieces" not only not valued by themselves, but not by others either. Especially with the young people, I think the "I am worthless" attitude probably started with a parent(s) who told them they were worthless.

If only all children could feel loved and worthwhile by their earthly parents, and be taught by them about God's unwavering love for the child. How different the world would be.

Liz said...

I sometimes see people living a life of frustration because they think they should be doing great things but aren't. I find that rather short sighted.

We aren't all created to make waves. Sometimes, we just need to make ripples. And our ripples impact someone else and they get to make the waves.

I have long believed that I am God's masterpiece. But that doesn't mean that I have to be doing something great or fantastic... better still, it doesn't mean that what I am already doing isn't great or fantastic. I don't need to cure cancer or end world hunger or destroy poverty to be something great.

I need to keep my heart and mind open to God and to those around me. I need to be aware of opportunities as they present themselves and make the best choices I can with what I have. And back to those ripples... it could be that the choices I make today will end up having a positive impact on someone who then, let's say, changes the way they are parenting. And that change brings up that child in a home filled with love and grace. And that child becomes a parent and passes on this legacy of love and gentleness... so that their children end up being the ones who do great things that put their names in the history books.

Cathy said...

Liz, LOVE your comment!

Dina said...

Your post today reminded me of an illustration as put forth by C.S. Lewis in "Mere Christianity": Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you know that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage; but he is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.

Masterpieces take a lot of love, passion and hard work. They aren't created overnight. I think of this illustration from C.S. Lewis when I know I'm being challenged by God to grow into the unique Masterpiece he intends for me to be. The illustration brings me comfort, because it reminds me that the pain is normal and worth it.