Shoreline Park, Santa Barbara, CA
I love Autumn and Winter sunrises. They’re simultaneously inspiring and reflecting for me. As I sit or stand in the cold on the sea cliff, waiting to capture the sunrise on “film”, although a picture of that magnitude is just really impossible to duplicate in its full grandeur, I reflect on my life, my goals and where I’m at right now in relation to those goals. Every year as my birthday approaches I am vice-gripped by the feeling that I am not making enough of a mark, not enough of a difference in life, for others, for God, for me.
I am such a driven person, but I wonder if not it’s more ego talking in the desire to leave a mark. If the mark is unattached to my name, perhaps that’s more altruistic and Godly? I don’t know. My goal should be to simply love others and praise God with the gifts and love He has given me. Nothing else. Any recognition or acknowledgement should be unnecessary.
I’ve always struggled with this. Growing up, I was raised to think of myself as the least of all people and “not better than anyone else....ever.” I vaguely recall this as being scriptural, but I was always challenged by the line between putting others first and being a doormat....or conversely, using that as an excuse to not achieve great things. I feel the desire to achieve and create great things for God is given to me BY God. It’s one way that He glorifies himself -- through our accomplishments....as long as we always acknowledge God as having given us any talents, intelligences and/or gifts that led to those accomplishments.
All that to say, I have this drive to paint and enrich the world with beauty and creativity. That said, maybe I should just be giving my paintings away then? What to do?
So I just paint and paint and paint and keep checking in and reminding myself to keep my heart right with God.
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