twentybydesign

the life and times of a twenty year old designer

refrigerator art

with 3 comments

I make plans. I make lots and lots of plans. This summer I have come up with a five year (what?) plan for my life. That feels absolutely ridiculous. Especially because, if you had asked me five years ago where I’d be right now, the answer would be summed up in three letters. MFA. Goodness, how the times change. I was talking with some good friends about what a crazy concept it is to think I know where I’ll be in five years, and this is the analogy that came from it.

We work very hard on our plans. We draw them out as best as we are able, anticipating as many of the inconsistencies and irregularities as we can. We draw them out meticulously  and carefully and thoughtfully, genuinely trying to create a complete picture of something it is actually impossible for us to see or understand. And once we are finished drawing out our futures, we hand them off to God and ask for His blessing.

And I think God does something quite interesting with these flimsy pieces of paper we want to place so much confidence in. Some would assume he takes it as a check list and proceeds to honor each of our specific prayer requests. Others would say he laughs at our ignorance, takes the plan straight to the shredder, and proceeds to continue as though our input didn’t matter at all. I think he takes our plans and does something different with them all together. He puts them on the family refrigerator.

You see, I think he is glad to see that we’re genuinely seeking to engage in the planning process of our lives. We work so hard on these drawings, and we are so excited to show them to him, and he says “That’s wonderful! I’m so proud you worked so hard on that. Let’s take that and put it right up here where we can see it.” And then we’ve got some time to stand back and look at it. We see it every morning when we grab milk for our cereal, and we’re reminded that that’s the direction we want to be moving.

And in the time of seeing this plan on the fridge every day, God works with us through it. Sometimes we have drawn a house that is a triangle and four rectangles (roof, windows, door, house) and he shows us a deeper, more complete way to see things. So that when we revisit the drawing we still end up with a house, but all of a sudden it’s a log cabin with a firm foundation and a back porch and the drawing has a much more sophisticated sense of perspective.
Other times, he looks at the drawing and sees how we’ve been paying attention, delights at our growing understanding of perspective and contour and shading, sees how our gifts are developing, and challenges us to continue in a similar vein.
And sometimes, he allows us to see that for all the effort we’ve put into drawing houses, we’d really be much better at drawing people, and he asks us to create an entirely new plan.
But I’ll maintain, the process is important. It’s much more valuable to work through our plans in any of these ways than it is to focus so much on creating perfect art.

Another tricky thing about this drawing ending up on the family refrigerator – it’s not the only thing up there. Now, all of a sudden our carefully bordered drawing is sharing space with grocery lists, report cards, wedding invitations, emergency phone numbers, and, of course, many more drawings.  Sometimes it is frustrating to find that what we have worked so hard on is partially covered up or overshadowed by someone else’s celebration, joy, or clarity of plan.  The beauty comes when we see our art on the cluttered, messy refrigerator not as one of many things vying for attention and supremacy, but as part of a beautiful collage, a family album that reflects the heart and spirit of how much our Father loves us and how blessed we are to be making plans together.

So as hard as I may be working on formulating this plan, I’m ready to hand it off to God, ask him to put it on the refrigerator with the rest of the family mess, and spend the next five years seeing which parts are erased, which are refined, which are overshadowed, and which are brought to glorious fullness.

Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.
Psalm 73

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Written by Taylor Webster

August 3, 2013 at 2:03 pm

3 Responses

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  1. All I can say is indeed! Your perspective is so very wonderful and full of truth!

    Geena (G-PAIN; that's my rapper name)

    August 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

  2. Never was much good at the five year plan. Always been kind of the post it note—write it today–toss it tomorrow kind of operator. love the fridge, but even that must be culled now and again. keep up the good work and keep pickin and a grinnin…..meeeeeeeee

    deedoh

    August 4, 2013 at 9:58 am

  3. Hey Taylor 🙂 stumbled across your blog. loved reading through some of your posts, so just wanted to say hello! I was just talking with a friend today about how weird I felt to NOT have a five-year-plan, and started stressing about what I should put on it, so this post was very timely 😉 Good luck on surrendering those plans to God, it’s the best place to be…

    lexiedache

    August 24, 2013 at 8:24 pm


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