“The art of living, isn’t that a funny expression?” ~ Anne Frank
New Years is upon us. The dying of one year and the birth of a new one. 2015 has ended, there will never be another. That chapter of our lives has closed; the next one is about to begin. So on this, the last day of a dying year, I share my reflections on life (at least the short one I have lived).
‘The art of living’ as Anne observed does seem a strange expression. After all what is there to life? We all have one don’t we? Is it not what some 7 Billion people spend all their time doing? Where is the ‘art’ in that? Can life itself really be an art?
My answer to that would be yes, life is an art. For what is art? Art is a work of skill and creativity. An image or creation. Created to be appreciated for the beauty of the work and the skill of the artist. A message to the world from its Creator.
By that definition are we not ourselves a work of art? Beautiful and intricate works of God the Master artist. Masterpieces, and His messages to the world. Just as scribbles, lines, and dabs of paint make up a piece of art. So also the everyday events of our lives are used by the Master Artist to make and shape us.
New Years is not only a time of reflection but also of resolve. Every year thousands of people resolve to lose weight, read more, and worry less. Each year we resolve anew to weed out ‘faults’ and become at last that perfect ideal we all create for ourselves. I have done this myself many times. Every year I resolve to lose those extra pounds, to take more risks, and to finally become that trim, attractive, and oh so successful person I have created in mind. And while there is nothing wrong with setting goals and forming good habits that is not what I resolve this year. This year I resolve to live artfully.
I resolve to read, laugh, and sing. To stop and smell the flowers, look up at the sky, and thank the Lord for His bounty, His blessings. To notice and remember the little things. For often when we look back we find that they were the big things. I resolve to find joy in each thing He puts in each day; each person, each problem, each pleasure. To smile more. We must never underestimate the power in a smile, a kind word, or thoughtful action. They may mean more than we will ever know. To borrow a line from The Hobbit, “It is the everyday actions of ordinary people. Small acts of kindness and love that keep the darkness at bay.”
I resolve to learn to live as His Masterpiece. To live artfully is to live with intent. It is to live with a goal in mind. It is to live in a way that reflects the beauty and purpose of our Creator, the Master Artist. There is such joy and fulfillment in just being what he intended us to be. In just doing what we were meant to do; glorify our Creator and enjoy the good gifts He has given us. The good things and the bad. Easy and hard.
This year I ask that God help us all to remember what we are. His workmanship, created for good works. That we would all remember who we are; masterpieces of the Creator. Beautiful, living, works of art. Sent to enjoy the world we live in and bring glory to God who made it. This year let’s forget about all the self-improvement. Instead let’s remember the Masterpieces we are and live like it.