If you know me, you know that I love art!
I love to paint, draw, create things with my hands, garden, design, sew, build, sing and many more! You name it! Being an artist is what I love to do.
However, (if you know me, you know that) I usually never finish the projects I start. (At least the ones that don’t have a due date.) Why? I don’t know. Not really. I mean.. I have all these “brilliant ideas” that sound magnificent in my head, but as soon as I try to paint them on canvas or put them in a song, I’m not satisfied. Instead of finishing the project I’ve begun, I store it in a smelly, old wooden box that sits beside my bed, full of dreams and possibilities.
Maybe I’ll get back to it one day. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll transform my unfinished projects into something new and exciting, or maybe I’ll put it where “I think” they belong—the garbage.
Similarly, I often find myself setting new goals.
- After going on a “much needed” shopping spree, I tell myself, “I’m going to start saving coupons and stop spending so much money on shoes.”
- After eating the school lunch (gumbo), I firmly state, “I’m going to start eating healthy, go on runs and become athletic!”
- And finally after an inspirational sermon, I make a promise. “I’m going to read the bible in one year and study monthly devotionals.”
And boy do I mean it!
I start off strong. I wake up early, go on a run, read my bible and eat a healthy snack that only cost me $0.13. I go throughout my day making all the right choices and fulfilling the promises I made to myself. Then I go to bed and wake up to another day-same routine.
I wake up at 7:45 and realize that I only have 15 minutes to get ready for class at 8:00. I skip my 2 mile run and grab a bag of chips to eat (because I’M STARVING) and it’s the only thing in the room besides nasty fiber bars. Who bought those anyway? Me. Gross. There goes another $5.00. And that’s it.
I have officially set my goals up for failure for the rest of the school year.
Why is that? Why do we so often start things but never carry through with them? Why do we come up with ideas for them to only sit on paper? Why do we create projects that will never be finished?
These unfinished projects remind me of my own life. Besides the fact that I don’t always finish my art pieces, save my money, eat healthy and (believe it or not) read my bible, the projects I’m talking about now are different.
Of course, I believe some things are meant to be left unfinished.
For instance, I believe our faith should stay unfinished. Our faith should never stop growing. We should never strive to become content in our faith. It must continue to be refined, renewed, and transformed.
In the same way, our lives are unfinished. God has plans for us: to meet new people, to show others His love and to receive His love.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says,
Since we are surrounded by so many witnesses, let us get rid of everything that slows us down and the sin that we so easily get tangled up in. And let us run the race with perseverance, focusing on Jesus. – Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV (Revised)
Our time, our devotion, His mission is unfinished.
Though at times it seems that our impact and our words are only so big…
Though at times giving up on everything, even life itself seems to make more sense to us…
Though at times we fail to rid ourselves of wrong choices and bad decisions…
The race isn’t over. God isn’t done running us yet.
However, despite all these things I believe should stay “unfinished,” it’s important to remember that to God we aren’t only unfinished projects. God doesn’t store us in a smelly, old wooden box that sits beside His throne in heaven, picking through the pieces, only to end up throwing everything in the garbage.
Instead, we are His masterpiece. Out of everything God made, He made us like Him, in His image. We are special. We are important to Him. We are His prized possessions, His trophies that He stores in a glass cabinet on the top shelf. We are the projects that He is proud of.
But sometimes we get a little dusty. So God takes His trophies out and one by one and polishes them till they look brand new. He cleans us of every imperfection. He wipes away every smudge and messy part of our lives.
He has the ability to do this because of His great love for us. When Jesus was crucified He said, “It is finished,” and bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
We aren’t perfect. We never were. We never will be. We will continue to make the silliest of decisions and a few mistakes along the way. The road will be bumpy. As we get older, we will become worn trophies. Scratches will start to appear, but we will continue to be His favorite. And though at times we may doubt ourselves, we must choose to put our confidence is Christ because it is He who can take an ordinary project and make it extraordinary. We are His finished projects.