“I think I’m going to give up,” I yelled, slapping my hands down on the couch cushions. My daughter looked at me from across the room, pulled the blanket up to her eyes and slumped down into the pillows on the opposite couch.
With my computer on my lap, screen glow bouncing off my reading glasses, I used up my last emotional straw on the dam of technical glitches I’d encountered over the last week. I threw my head back, closed my eyes and held my breath until all the words I wanted to spew slipped safely back inside my head.
A few minutes later, I realized that the very thing that caused my frustration was fixed. And really, this was the repetitive theme of my week: Giving up, prematurely.
I’ve been thinking about Michelangelo since I heard a story about him shared from a platform last week. We all have stories you know? But this one, it’s sticking with me.
He was only twenty six when he began sculpting David. For two years, he ate, slept and practically breathed creating his masterpiece. What I didn’t know? That classic sculpture was originally started by someone else and abandoned. For twenty five years.
It’s as if Michelangelo was born with a chisel in one hand and determination in the other. When someone asked him how he did it, how he was able to create a seventeen foot sculpture out of six tons of marble, he said he just “chipped away everything that wasn’t David.”
And just like Michelangelo, I think God is chipping away everything that doesn’t look like me. Is He doing that with you too?
This whole process of creating a new website is both exhilarating and frustrating, just like being a writer, a mother, and at times, a friend. And it’s taught me a lot about myself. When I’m faced with what I can’t control and don’t understand, I have a choice about how I’m going to respond. I can immerse myself in it open handed, learn from it and let it change me, or I can walk away and quit.
But I don’t want to be that nameless, faceless person who abandons his art when it feels too hard and overwhelming. Do you?
A friend of mine once said, If we live the sum of our lives within our own abilities, at the end of it, all we have truly known is ourselves. And God’s glory, our true joy, it most often lives in the holy place we’ve yet to experience, the city called Beyond Our Ability.
Before crawling into bed, I apologized to my family for the outburst. “It all worked out didn’t it,” H reminded me with a grin.
We are His unfinished masterpiece. Don’t walk away from the vision He’s given you before it’s fulfilled. Keep chipping away at your art, that thing God has called you to do that makes your heart sing. And just like Michelangelo, your persistence will pay off. Joy will find you.