My wife, Jo, is an artist. She took up art late in life and is still learning on every painting she does. I could hear sounds of frustration from her as I walked through the room and asked, “What’s the problem?”
“My clouds. I can’t get my clouds right.”
I watched her paint for a few minutes before she ran me off. She hates for people to watch her paint. She was nice about it; she said, “Go away.” Later that day, she finished her painting The Calm Before the Storm, and we hung it on the wall for her to look at for a day to decide if it was actually finished.
Learning art, like anything, first requires a struggle to understand the “how.” After that, it requires practice. It occurred to me that I only learned spiritual things when I struggled to understand the Lord or his revelation. Listening to a Sunday sermon is not a struggle. It’s not uncommon for people to not even remember the subject of the Sunday sermon by Wednesday. The struggle is in applying it to our life. Without that, it’s like trying to learn math by having someone recite formulas. I could lose the knowledge I get from that struggle unless I put it into practice.
The following day I walked through, and she was preparing a small canvas. “What’s the new project?” I asked.
“This is just a practice canvas. I need to learn how to paint raindrops on a window. I’ve never painted those before. I have an idea for a painting of a little boy dressed up to play baseball and being disappointed because it’s raining. I’ll probably redo this a few times before I start on the real painting.” I quickly left the room before I got the “Go away” or the more severe “Get out.” Never mess with an artist at work.
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