I am going to be very transparent today.
Maybe more so than I have ever been before on a blog
I am going to show you one of my paintings.
(Yes that was meant to be dramatic. You can laugh.)
I like what Scott Adams had to say about art: "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." I am by no means an artist in the traditional sense of the word. I cannot draw. I can picture things in my mind, by translating that onto a canvas is another story. But the painting I will share with you is probably the closest I have come to making the translation from my mind to my canvas, so there has been progress! With that being said, I share this painting with you not to boast, clearly, but to share with you the inspiration behind it.
On the back of the canvas I wrote this well known passage:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 NLT
On the right side of the painting it reads, Focus on the good, the beautiful, the lovely, and the truth.
In a dim and bleak day we can still choose to see the good, the beautiful, the lovely, and the truth. There are a lot of things that can block that view. But as it is said, the light shines brightest in the darkness. Even in the midst of a bad day, a bad week, a bad season in life, we can see the light of day if we will look for it. Life may seem bland; maybe you would describe it as neutral. It may not be bad, but it isn't really good either. When you find yourself in that kind of state, take notice of the good. Take a look at the beautiful. Marvel at the lovely. Rejoice in the truth. It is there, you need only to find it.
This scripture is a wonderful reminder of this. To shine light into our darkness we must find the light and stay fixated on it. Often times I see things that are lovely but all too quickly forget its beauty. We choose our focus. We can focus on the bad, the dark, the ugly, the lies, or we can choose to let the good resonate in our minds and hearts. It takes training ourselves... or retraining ourselves, which is no easy task. We frequent the phrase "you can't teach an old dog new tricks." Sure it is difficult, but if we are consistent and persistent we can overcome the dark shadows that try to hang over us.
I encourage you to train and retrain your mind. Focus on what is true. Think only about what is honorable. Think about what is right. Meditate on the pure, the lovely, the admirable. Think about what is excellent and praise worthy. Then the light of Christ will shine upon you and the darkness must run and hide.