Faith, Family

No Messy Do-Overs

During one of my son’s recent art lessons, his instructor was urging him to “loosen up” (since being flexible is an important attribute of an aspiring artist!).  She encouraged him to comfortably create a new sketch on top of a previous drawing.

She may as well have asked him to devour a live lizard and wash it down with castor oil.  Terror was written all over his young face.  And, I have to admit, I felt for my inflexible, little guy (who didn’t fall far from this tree of precision).  In most cases, his necessity for rigid attention to detail and demand for excellence, which my mother and stepfather cheerfully label “payback,” cause a bit of, ahem, gentle tension in our relationship.

On this occasion, however, I partnered up with the keeper-of-carefulness.  It would make more sense to request a fresh creation than to mess with something, well, you know, messy.    Wouldn’t it?

Nope.  Not this time.

(The bobcat turned into a horse.  But not because Caleb obliged to the disorderly do-over.  His art teacher had to take the reins, so to speak.)

Although my son’s desire for order can be exacerbating at times, I certainly appreciated his longing for something clean and new on this crisp, autumn day.

Somewhere deep in our souls, don’t we all hunger for the settled peace of newness?

Yet, so often, we simply pull out our artificial  sketching pencils to cover up an earlier reputation with a different “image.”  Nevertheless, just as you can see from looking closely at the picture of the horse, even with the touch of an artist, the bobcat did not disappear.

I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 5:17…

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

There’s no indication of a messy do-over disguised as a cover-up by the Designer.  Matthew Henry explains,

[There is] a thorough change of the heart: For if any man be in Christ, if any man be a Christian indeed, and will approve himself such, he is, or he must be, a new creature.

This ought to be the care of all who profess the Christian faith, that they be new creatures; not only that they have a new name, and wear a new livery, but that they have a new heart and new nature.

And so great is the change the grace of God makes in the soul, that, as it follows, old things are passed away —old thoughts, old principles, and old practices, are passed away; and all these things must become new.

 Regenerating grace creates a new world in the soul; all things are new. The renewed man acts from new principles, by new rules, with new ends, and in new company.

Allow that Truth to soak deeply into your spirit.  Enjoy the fresh caress of regenerating grace.  The pure indulgence of a changed heart.  The sparkling creation of a new world in the soul.

Put down your sketching pencils, unless you’re an aspiring artist learning to loosen up, and allow the Designer to create His own piece of art in you.  Any attempt to make a change on your own will be nothing more than…

A messy do-over.

2 thoughts on “No Messy Do-Overs”

  1. That sketch looks so much like me after those many attempts I make on my own to “make things right” in my life. But thanks be to Christ Jesus, I’m learning with each self effort, to let go and let God. The Lord our God Whom we serve can be trusted with our lives, always and in all things!

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