Why you can stop fearing failure

I can hardly wait!

That in itself is a small miracle.

The teacher in my mandatory high school art class once told me that my perspective was “screwy as hell.”

If I wasn’t afraid to pick up a paintbrush before that, I certainly have been since. Afraid of failure. Afraid of what people will think.

So what has changed?

I am sharing a home with someone who is an artist. This is her idea. And she has done it before with people who, in their words, ‘can’t paint.’

She tells me I can’t ruin the picture.

Sometimes, for people afraid to begin, she’ll take a brush and scribble across the canvas to emphasize: they cannot spoil the painting. She will go before, showing me how to hold the brush and where to start and how to mix the paint. She will come behind, and however my brush strokes the canvas, the brush of the master artist will incorporate and cover and surround, and the first strokes of a not-so-timid-anymore but still-mostly-untrained artist will become a seamless part of the beauty.

I can let go and enter the process with joy, knowing that my strokes are few in the bigger picture. Trusting the promise and the promiser:  I cannot ruin the picture.

My favorite part of all this? I don’t have the last word in life either. The Master Artist, brush in hand, not only coaches but comes behind, filling and surrounding and incorporating dark and light into unbelievable beauty. And He promises that every stroke I make on my canvas, the careful ones, the let-go-and-have-fun ones, the ones where I really mess up badly – as well as every loving touch or careless scribble or angry slash that someone else makes across my canvas, will all be used in the shaping of the final image – Christ in me.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son. . .  (Romans 8:28-29 NLT)

Oh, and my other favorite part? I get to be a real-life artist! So do you! We’re made in the image of the Creator, created to create alongside Him, to dream with Him, to learn from Him that there are no ordinary scenes or relationships when they’re touched with His light – and ours (John 8:12; Matt 5:14). So enjoy painting your own God-inspired beauty into your day, my fellow artists!


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