Friday, September 30, 2016

Vanilla Ice-Cream and the In-Grates

I took the kids in my carpool to McDonalds for an after school ice cream a few days ago. It was MEANT to be a treat. It was MEANT to be a special GIFT in which they would delight. It was MEANT to bring them happiness.

But, the ice creams only come in vanilla.  And they weren’t the originally discussed icy-poles (popsicles). They weren’t quite “cool” enough. Or special enough.
They didn’t really make my car-full of ingrates delighted or sated.
They were a disappointment.

Lately, I’ve been wrestling with what feels very much like a “calling” to art.  Daily, I wrestle with my own artistic limitations, lack of knowledge, and natural skill. A lack of natural “eye”.  My composition is poor.  My technique is lacking.  I can’t achieve what is in my mind, if indeed it was in my mind to begin with. I feel too late to the game to ever learn all there is to learn.

I always thought that if God gifted someone to do something, that it meant that they did it easily. And really well. That gifts from God made things easy. Phlbt. Yes, phblt. Not so.

This “gift” of art that God has given me is HARD.  There have been no supernaturally imbued skills. No super natural images magically creating themselves before me. Nope.  And, along with it, there hasn’t been any life-changing going on either. Art is notorious for being unhelpful…

As I’m wrestling with feeling like such a fake as I identify more and more as an artist, but still feeling the burden to continue to paint, the compulsion to create, and weight of needing to capture the “feeling” of a sunset, or a face, or a bird… And, once again, I am comparing myself against people I see ACTUALLY changing their world. People with sweet admin skills starting up NGOs, people with people skills fearlessly building relationships, people who are fearless leaders full of wisdom and spiritual drive. People with gifts that are different than mine. More... shall we say, "chocolatey"? And I feel like “Hey GOD! What? Only Crappy Ol VANILLA Ice Cream!? That’s all I GET!?” And I see my face reflected in the (much loved) ingrates in my car… And I know I’m them.  And I’m sure God rolls His eyes like I did when they complained. And I suspect that maybe He wishes, just ONCE I would be grateful. Just ONCE SOMETHING would be enough for me…

SO, I am trying to offer up to Him what I’ve got. Little and small and “blobbity” though it is. Trying to remember that it’s not about my awesome skills, (or desperate lack there of) but about trying. That trying to paint and draw as I’ve been “gifted” to is all I need to offer Him. He doesn’t demand a masterpiece. He doesn’t need me to be “super awesome”… but only to TRY… and perhaps a little danged gratitude wouldn’t go astray…

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