We should have been playing golf. It was late February and the Monday before it had been 80 degrees. But today was stormy and the prediction was for snow . . . an event we get only occasionally. So twenty-five women golfers under the direction of two of their own who are very talented and artistic (and left-handed . . . I’m sure that has something to do with it) were trying something new—a paint pour.
The concept is not difficult. You chose a base color—black or white—then choose three more colors, which you prepare in separate cups with a thinner and a bit of water and a lot of stirring. Then you pour each of these into the cup with the base color, one at a time, add two drops of oil, place a canvas on top of the cup, then turn it over, remove the cup, and let the paint slide over the canvas.
The colors both mix and remain distinct as it moves across the canvas.
While you may have chosen the colors and are able to do some manipulation, like tilt the canvas one way or another so that certain colors move in a certain direction, the final product is ultimately not one of your own creation. Gravity and paint have control.
The final step is to take a small blow torch to it (from a distance mind you) and heat the air bubbles (cells) until they pop, revealing even more color.
We were warned about one major don’t and cautioned on another. Don’t start with a both black and white base as you will end up with mud, and if you are concerned about your color choices, then ask, as—once again—certain combinations could end up with just a muddy color.
I found this activity an apt parallel for life as a Christian. God has given us a few definitive don’ts and some additional cautions. If not followed, life can get very muddy. We make choices the best we can, and if we are unsure, we seek the answers—in the Bible, through prayer, via trusted mentors. He will sometimes also put the heat of adversity to it to reveal even more beauty.
But there is one major difference.
Whereas disregarding the instructors directions or making poor color choices can lead to an unattractive result where very little can be done, God (as Romans 8:28 says and Ecclesiastes 3:11 suggests) can take my choices, made out of love for Him even if they are not perfect, and create something beautiful out of it.
No analogy can ever be perfect, especially when trying to compare an earthy world with an eternal God, but I am always comforted that God provides these concrete examples so that my finite little mind can connect with his incomprehensible ways.