Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Sunset that Paints its Own Colors

Asherel and I have an ongoing battle. She is doing a beautiful but very time consuming art work for the NRA Wildlife contest. It is due in three weeks. She has been working on it since early summer, but despite my wise counsel, she didn't put in as many hours over the summer as I suggested. I warned her that 9th grade was going to be busy, and she would not have much time to devote to the lovely project once the school year began. Lo and Behold, as she should know by now, the Mother was right. Children everywhere, save yourself the energy of eternally challenging this fact: Mothers are always right.

At any rate, she has far more than three weeks worth of tedious work on this art work, in my opinion. She insists she can finish in time. I have tried to suggest some time saving techniques, that I believe would produce equally lovely effects. No, she refuses to compromise her standards. If it isn't done in time, it isn't done. She won't do something less than what she feels is the called for optimal artistic decisions.

I suppose, in some ways, it is like me suggesting to God that perhaps a little more magenta and a little less orange is needed in the optimal sunset. In the end, the Creator really should make the decisions on how the creation ought to look. As a creative person myself, I am a little astounded when I think of God's courage in giving His creation free will. Now I know already what my dad is ranting and raving about as he reads those words. We have had a thousand or so discussions about " free will vs. predetermination".  For now Dad, suspend your thoughts about all that, and let's just suppose for the sake of the rest of the story that free will does exist and it was ordained by God. (If necessary, take an extra blood pressure pill.)

In that case, it is like me giving the power to my painting to suddenly sprout a mouth and say, "Hey wait a minute! You stink! Why don't you take a few more drawing lessons, turkey?! Why are you making me that color with that shape? And you call yourself an artist? Gimme a break. I don't need you. Get lost!"

It seems ridiculous in that context...but that is what I do to God over and over again.
Hey! Why did you put me in this stupid situation?
How could you expect anyone to be patient, kind, or loving with the jerks you plopped me in the middle of?
How do you expect me to carry our your will when I'd have to give up all that pile of desires over there?
Why are you doing this to me? I deserve better!
This is the thanks I get for carrying out your commands?

Fortunately, God is used to His creations that talk back. When Moses was leading the grumbly Israelites to the promised land, their incessant complaining finally overcame him.
 He cried out in angry despair, telling God ,"You gave me a bunch of whiney babies, and then expect me to lead them for forty miserable years. You have given me a burden that is too heavy. Just kill me now!"
But God doesn't kill Moses. Rather than chastise Moses, or ask him how he dare question the wisdom of His Creator, He gently calms Moses down, and promises to immediately send him seventy helpers to share a portion of the burden. He allows the sunset to paint its own color, in a sense.

Asherel finished the tail of the wolf. It looks so real, I feel like I could reach out and stroke the soft fur. Ok, maybe sometimes mothers aren't right. The creator probably knows best the direction to guide her creation.

Numbers 11: 10-17
10 Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The LORD became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled. 11 He asked the LORD, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? 13 Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”  16 The LORD said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.

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