August 30 Devotion
So, this one almost hit the trash can. After stretching the paper and marking out the composition, I began to apply paint. It was not going well. I really wanted a different outcome. After leaving the painting rest and dry overnight I felt hopeless for a finish I would accept. My lovely, stretched paper was going to be wasted.
The words of any number of spiritual advisors crept into my head, “we must let go of our attachment to outcomes.” I was attached to the outcome of the painting. The mess of blotches on my paper was not what I planned or expected. A shift was required so I decided to use it as technique practice. At least I would learn something in the process before it hit the trash can. Since I was convinced that is where the painting would end up I began to play with the color.
My focus shifted to one of practice of techniques, blending of colors and learning in the process. In the end the painting turned out quite well. The trash can will be empty for another day. I was not disappointed in the outcome. However, I’d had more joy in the process.
We have a habit of getting hung up on outcomes. The end result is what becomes important. A focus only on the end can mean we miss the learning along the way. Focusing only on an outcome or a product is not an act of hope but is an act of control. I was trying to control the outcome. When I shifted to working in the moment and learning in the process the entire experience was more enjoyable and more fruitful. Surprisingly, the outcome was way different and more pleasing than I ever imagined.
God’s Spirit is always creating and always renewing us in life. God will take care of all the outcomes. Ours is to live in awareness and in response to God’s Spirit. This is our hope and this is our joy. This is living in faith.
*Image Credit: "Old Woman's Creek" Wendy S-Chasney, August 2023 (c)