Lately, I've been thinking a lot about slavery. The conditions. The system. Most importantly, the master and how he has dominion over your life. If you dare run, will hunt you down and bring you back before nightfall. Why? Because he owns you. You are his. This is quite frightening when the master is wicked and cruel. As a creative, the master of comparison is always lurking. Tickling my nostrils with sweet smells of greatness. I must admit, I salivate for a mere taste of it. I know the meal is smothered in death, but I want it. When I believe I have found it, it satisfies me....only for a while...then it becomes scraps for dogs....a sight for sore eyes.
I leave the table in search for something more tasteful as thoughts ravage my mind, "Tell me I'm great. Tell me I am not wasting my time. Tell me it's worth it. Tell me. Approve me. Affirm me and my gifts." I finally find the meal I crave and devour it. I am satisfied for a brief moment just to see scraps again so I repeat. I search to and fro, get my feast, and see rubbish.
In the midst of this self-inflicted whirlwind, steps in Him. God's beauty alone chokes out my insecurities, flips over my feast, invites me to His glorious party, and I smile. Those moments make me see my gifts and talents are uniquely given and not earned. I leave the slavery of comparison and walk into freedom. The freedom to create beautifully, create terribly, learn from those better than me, and celebrate the work of others.
As my heart sings on this freedom road, I promise myself I will never return. But I do. Who knew the bitter horrors of slavery could become sweet memories? This is my story. All of our stories. We dream of slavery in the midst of freedom, but our God is faithful to remind us its horrific realities. He wooes us to come home where in His presence there is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16).
Prayer: "God exalt the beauty of Christ in our minds. May your truths reach deep within our souls and reconfigure our hearts to sing to You. Help us work hard to sharpen our craft, learn from others, and ultimately surrender it all back to You. Amen."