Carol shut the door to her art studio. “Lord, I’m getting nowhere, and I’m sick of trying. I quit!”
It wasn’t as if she hadn’t tried. For years, for Pete’s sake! Okay, so she had procrastinated some. Vegging out in front of the TV and chatting with friends rather than wrestling to master that illusive painting technique.
She sighed and leaned against the wooden door. Truthfully, she hadn’t worked on her paintings anywhere near as much as she promised herself. Sometimes she just had to get that nagging housework done, had to run those errands, had to answer her email first. Okay, so she used those distractions at times to avoid walking into that studio and facing the fear that her work would never really measure up.
Until now, she had never given up. For years, she tweaked each of her cherished paintings, dreaming that someday when she would perfect them. While her friends devoted themselves to finishing their works, had pieces commissioned by local restaurants and businesses, and saw their work qualify for art shows and museum exhibits. While some achieved “Best of the Show” awards.
They didn’t let doubts about lack of perfection hold them back. They forged ahead with single-minded determination, serving God with whatever they had to offer at the time. How Carol admired them! How she wished she could be like them. Could she?
“Lord, is it too late?”
What I see in God’s Word is that the answer for both Carol and us is no. It’s never too late to develop the skills and talents God has given to us to make this world a kinder, more loving place. Whether it’s teaching, encouraging, leadership, serving, building, inspirational writing or artwork, or something altogether different, we can determine right now to …
Focus: “Be diligent in these matters (not neglect our God-given gifts); give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress” ~ 1 Timothy 4:15, New International Version.
How About you? How do you fight doubt and use your gifts as you attempt to make this world a kinder, better place?
(This blog post is adapted from a May 2006 piece published by Together in Faith in my ten-year column, Love With Shoes On.)