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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Come Prepared

Each week I have an art lesson. These lessons were meant to be an extracurricular activity for my children, but as they have gotten older I have had the privilege of joining them in this expression of creativity. Each week when we arrive, our instructor asks us to do a few simple drawing exercises.

We have to get into our right hemisphere.

Admittedly, I spend much of my life here on earth taking care of left brain tasks; paying bills, grocery shopping, laundry, emptying the dishwasher, shuttling people to and fro. These activities require little creativity, or "right brain" function. But art, now that is a different story.

Our instructor insists that moving into our right hemispheres is critical to art and original creativity. She reminds us weekly that without this transition, our best expression of art and creativity are not possible. There are times that getting into my "right mind" is hard work. I have to WORK at shutting my left brain interferences out, or my artwork will not be a reflection of my true creativity.

One morning, as I was sitting down to quiet time with the Lord, I had a revelation.

Much like art class, many times coming to the Lord disconnected from the noise is hard work. The day's distractions bombard me. Much like my art class, I must find a way to leave those things at the door. Moving from my world into His. If distractions interfere with my time with Him, I will not ever hear completely what He is trying to communicate to me.

Rather than preparing my brain, I have to prepare my heart.

How can I prepare my heart when my heart longs for real intimacy with God?

When we have met our Lord in the silent intimacy of our prayer, then we will also meet Him . . . in the market, and in the town square. But when we have not met Him in the center of our own hearts, we cannot expect to meet Him in the busyness of our daily lives.
Henri Nouwen

Just as I have a series of exercises that I need to do to prepare this brain for art class, the same can be said for my quiet time with God. If a few simple exercises work in art class, why should it surprise me that a few simple exercises work at prayer time too. Just as right hemisphere exercises allow creativity to flow, centering my heart in Christ through prayer moments of solitude with Him will allow Him to freely move through me. Much like the drawing exercises that we do in class, I have learned to come to quiet time prepared. Repeating the words of the prophet Isaiah, "Here am I," helps me to be present to the Lord.

In order to meet Him in the busyness, I must meet Him in the center of my own heart, and that simply cannot be done if distractions interfere with my holy experience. I am a canvas of the Lord. If allowed, the artist of all creation would choose to use me to reflect His love to the world. As the canvas, I need to simply be, before I can ever do.

Father God,

Thank you for the creativity that surrounds me and even more I thank you for the lessons you continue to so eloquently teach me thorough simple, daily experiences. I want to meet you in the center of my heart. I ask you to guide me as I strive to come to you in the quietness, meeting you in completeness, releasing distractions. Father, hear the prayer of your child, "Here am I." Use me as your canvas Lord, as your will would have.


join Lori daily at her personal website,all you have to give, where she can be found anxiously awaiting football season.

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Blogger Denise said...

Such a very beautiful post.

September 16, 2009 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger I am blessed! said...

So true! I'm struck by the number of times in the Bible that our Christian life is referred to as a race or that we're told to train ourselves in some regard. We shouldn't think the Christian disciplines just happen. You're so right that we need to apply and prepare ourselves.

Thank you.


September 16, 2009 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Amen. This post resonates with my heart. Of course, yours always do, kindred sister.

September 16, 2009 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Oh I love that! Totally see you my friend with paint brush in hand!

Love you dearly!

September 16, 2009 at 10:35 PM  

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