God teaches us things in life through the little things. Those little things that seem so big in our eyes, but are only a drop in the ocean in reality.
Of course, the Holy Spirit is the main thing which strikes conviction and understanding in our beings, but sometimes situations in our lives aid in that teaching process as well.
I remember one particular lesson I learned in all of the hundreds of Bible classes I've listened to during homeschooling. It was taught by, I believe, Mr. Duby (to all ye Abekians) and was about the ends justifying the means. How the world will do whatever it takes to keep up their image in tasks: to look superior in their doings for their names sake. How humans often take drastic steps which Christians would consider selfish and, often, sinful simply to gain man's praise and materialistic gain.
We all know the ends doesn't justify the means--or at least we should. And I can understand that. I can see why it wouldn't be right to steal to be rich or cheat to get good grades. People with common sense can see that--even in this world there are standards of morals upheld, and the laws of the land often instill these practical reasoning's.
However, as Christians, if we aren't looking for a glorious end product to raise us in the eyes of those around us, what should we be seeking?
My mom told me last night, "It's not the end product that matters: it's the journey."
Is that what we should be seeking? An upright journey, not a fantastic finished product. Because, perhaps, if our journey is pure, won't our end result be as good as the way we got there?
Yet, perhaps, because our path to the prize was upright, our result might not be as magnificent as the one next to us who took the worldly way and got the richest results....or did he truly win? Because if we did right in God's eyes doesn't that make us winner in God's eyes, not man's? And if we are winners in God's eyes doesn't that mean our praise will last through all eternity and not for a few hundred years on this world?
As Christians, we often try to keep up an image, an image of high standards and upright morals. Yet why do we? Is it for the praise of ourselves or the praise of our Lord? Do our ways to get these images of saintliness arise from wrong things--do we, as Christians, sometimes fall into the world's own traps by trying to make ourselves look great?
If that's what we're doing, then aren't we no better then the world?...and we are only trying to better ourselves in man's eyes--because we surely aren't trying to keep our image right for God's glory but our own, if we are willing to do wrong to get there.
God has been teaching me so much lately, not only through His word, but through books and situations in life. Not only has He been teaching me spiritual things but things like: surrendering everything to Him, trusting Him, fearing Him, living completely for Him and relying on Him only. God's also been giving me food along the way through small miracles...if there is such a thing as a small miracle--aren't all miracles miraculous?
My mom is so wonderful. She's always teaching me things (like above about the journey) and encouraging me in so many ways.
The other day my family and I went out and as we walked past a few shops we spotted an art gallery.
What do you think I said? "Please, can we go in? Please?"
I have kind parents: they said yes.
So we walked in and admired all of the beautiful works of art. I have to admit, a bit of bitterness arises when one is in an art gallery because the reality that you probably will never paint as beautifully as them cannot but hit you. However, I could still enjoy, if not produce.
The funny thing is, as we were looking at all the paintings, we spotted one particular artist who rather stood out: not because he was good, but because he was...well...dare I say, below average?
I mean, my mom could do better then that, and the price he was asking for was ridiculous!
Mind you, it wasn't abstract: at least it wasn't that: that is a whole other topic.
But it was an impressionistic style: very basic and almost ugly from lack of color and the dullness of each painting.
Yet, he would as for almost a thousand for a small (they were all small....and not even the kind of canvas generally used: the stretched canvas...it was that other type...sorry, I am no artist and don't know the names for all the different canvases...) painting...and, as I said before, they were all extremely dull.
So with that bit of hope instilled in me, as we walked out of the gallery I brought up an interesting topic.
"Mom, do you think we could become a mother-daughter team and sell our paintings online or something like that?"
I forget her answer: let's just say it wasn't a straightforward yes: but neither was it a silencing no.
"But we couldn't start right away," I continued, "because we don't have enough to sell--we'd need to stock up. You only have a few paintings and I even less, so we'd have to build up inventory and then begin. But if we do, we can't afford to take long periods of time on just one painting like we usually do: we'd need to just whip out a whole bunch and not care about detail: then we could begin."
I forget what her response was: it was not negative.
We talked about the prices of our paintings, "I would gladly sell one of my watercolors for fifty dollars!" I said.
"No, you can't sell it for so cheap," My mom objected, "you should at least go for a hundred or two hundred,"
"No way! That's too much: but you could definitely go for a couple of thousand on one of yours."
The day faded away and that night, as I said goodnight to my mom I asked her, "Do you think we'll ever really sell our paintings?"
"We can dream, can't we?" She answered.
My hopes were struck down: but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4: 7-10
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
"We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
"persecuted, but now forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed--
"always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body."