Earlier in the year I came across a life-changing statement in a book I was reading, and it was almost my birthday, so I called that girl of mine and asked her if she would paint the quote on the wall in my kitchen, above the window.
Does it have to be paint? she said.
No. Do whatever you want, I said. I trust your artistic eye.
One dark evening in winter she came over with a box and a smile. I was sent to the living room, where I sat for more than a half an hour listening to hammering and then the water running.
Why are you running the water? I said.
You’ll see, she said.
I may have let out an unhappy hmmmpph, because I was being internally five years old and could hardly wait to see what she was doing.
Soon it came time for the big reveal, and when I rounded the corner my mouth split into a big grin. There was the quote I had commissioned, but it looked better than anything I had imagined. It was whimsical, and I loved it. There were wooden letters and hand-crafted letters on paper. One letter “O” was a china saucer leftover from her wedding reception.
She is an artist, I say.
When it comes to making big decisions in life and asking God about them, well sometimes we approach that process like we’re at an oval business table, with yellow legal pads in front of us. Me on this end. God way down on that end.
No, no, no.
That’s not how it is at all.
God is a creator.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
So when we have this big decision, we need to go to God and ask him to design. We say to him, Whatever you want to do with this is great. Whichever way you want to go.
Because we’ve seen his work before.
And me –the one who can’t even draw a respectable stick figure? I’m not really going to stand over his shoulder and give specifics. I mean, really. I commission his work and then hang a left into the living room and sit and wait miserably.
Except not a miserable, worry myself into an ulcer waiting.
More like a wiggling in the chair, Oh my word, what is this going to look like kind of waiting.
And here’s the thing. Artists labor to make every piece of work unique. They want us to gasp in delight when we see this new creation that no one has laid eyes on before. Nobody wants a print, really. No re-makes.
So that decision you’re trying to make? The future you’re trying to decide? It’s going to be unlike anyone else’s. God will communicate to you which way to go, but it will be unique to you.
So what’s our job when we have a decision to make?
- We say, Lord, what do you want this to look like?
- We wait in childish anticipation. Bug God everyday. Are you almost done? Which way do you want me to go? Can I see it yet? Bounce up and down. You know. Like a kid sitting in front of a table of birthday presents. Like that.
And soon we realize that to fall in love with an Artist is to face decisions that are one big reveal.