There have been many times during my artistic journey that I've felt like I wanted to quit....
- Freshman year of college a professor gave me a project I had no clue how to complete.
- After damaging my right hand in an accident, I was told I'd finish the semester painting with my left hand.
- A professor telling me I needed to quit pursing watercolor because my subject matter was not traditional enough for the medium.
- Teaching full time, having my first child, and completing my masters degree with an art show of ten original works on display.
The concepts were beyond my reach. My skills were too weak. I knew I would not be successful. I was overwhelmed and unable to see how I'd be able to complete the task.
It is really hard to continue on when something seems to be impossible.
However, when something seems impossible....what do you have to lose?
There is a freedom that comes over you when you feel there is nothing to lose in the trying. You begin to lay aside the worries, fears, and justifications...and just go for it. You realize quitting yields no reward. Pushing through the struggle and doubt allows you to develop necessary character to continue on as an artist. There is so much personal growth that occurs in this "process". In doing so, the impossible becomes possible.
Jesus looked at them and said,
"With man this is impossible, but not with God, all things are possible with God."
Over the years I've talked with many people about their relationship with God. Some shared that they weren't really sure what it meant to have a relationship with God. Others shared that they weren't "good enough" ...so they quit even trying. Many boasted of how "good" they were, and that God was lucky to have them on his side. Some became angry because they had been forced to go to church, but had never known that God wanted to have a personal relationship with them. Others talked about how they "hoped" they had more tallies in the good column than in the bad column...as if God was a score keeper in some kind of game.
In Matthew 19:26, Jesus is talking to the disciples about how God makes the way for man to have a personal relationship with him. This idea is so foreign to what they are use to hearing. So much of their society (and our society) is about doing things on our own...being good enough...EARNING IT. However, this also leads us to question...am I doing enough, am I good enough, am I doing the right thing, and can I mess up enough to ruin things? This brings about so much doubt, fear, and worry....because so many are trying to do things by their own strength.
It is impossible to "earn" our relationship with God. It is only through Jesus Christ that it is possible. When we realize that God so wanted a personal relationship with us that HE MADE THE WAY....it gives us such freedom to live for him. We no longer have to worry about being good enough...tally marks...or some how earning God's love. We can live a life that expresses the love shown to us. What do we have to lose when we know the love of Jesus and have that personal relationship with him?