I recently had the opportunity to illustrate a real book. No, I mean, a serious book. It is a very important guide for parents and college-bound youngsters. If you click on the image below, you will reach the listing in Amazon.com. I’ll write more on it later, but the reason I mention the book is not merely to toot my own horn (dah dah dah daah!) but to discuss the idea of creation. Not Adam and Eve stuff, I’m talking about the process of developing a work of art.
Toon Tuesday is sort of a self-imposed deadline, if you will, for me to create a gallery for enjoyment… or, at least, perusal. This blog also helps me look further than my notepad. But, that process… Ugh (often times)! A couple days ago, I drew a couple animals for my daughters. The koala went fairly well. The monkey… not so well. I am happy with the little guy that was borne out of sharpie and paper. But, did I mention the process?
What I mean is this: Draft one – arm too long. Draft two – ear too large. Draft three – and so on. There were seven large pieces of paper that were ripped out of the sketch book. Each one was ripped a little faster and louder. At about number four, my daughter said, “It’s OK. You don’t have to draw one.” I was not going to be defeated by a monkey that was in my head. I was determined to get him out of there and on… there.
At the end, there were smiles. Incidentally, that is why I started drawing – smiles. Am I perfectly satisfied? No, I am not happy that the banana looks like an okra. He was not supposed to be from Mississippi. However, the basic elements of this little “ooh hoo” are in place. As I visited the girls’ room this morning, I saw the fully painted and left out to dry monkey. Now it’s complete.
I think that there is a huge need to make a distinction between perfect and complete. Perfect is flawless. Complete is working through the flaws to get to “masterpiece.” I love the scripture that says,
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always making the supplication with joy in my every supplication for all of you, for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being persuaded of this very thing, that the One having begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:3-6
For we are His workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:10
The word that is usually rendered “workmanship” is essentially “work or art, or masterpiece” in the Greek and Aramaic. I love that our God is working to COMPLETE me. I stopped looking for perfection long ago. Many pages in my life and world have had to be crumpled up, but some things are still there like okra-nanas. Through my marred life, He is making me a complete work. Bless His Name!
You, and your children are the same way. You are never going to see “perfect’ in either one of you. My prayer for you is that you see the work of art that you are becoming.
Have you had to lay aside your perfectionism to get to complete?
P.S. Here is the awesome book I mentioned: