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Paint the duck, make Sweet Al happy

I woke up frustrated.

I had three calls this week wanting private painting lessons. In my mind — been there, done that.

I have evolved. I am now a writer. I am not there anymore. I’m too busy with this book and thinking about the next book.

At breakfast, I wanted to talk about it and thought Al would understand.

I should have known I was talking to the wrong person.

I began, “I’ve evolved, time has evolved, and what I want to do has evolved. I teach two days a week at Wyndham and I have other things to do. These people want me to take chunks of my time and teach them to paint. Where were they when I wanted to teach? They didn’t value me back then.”

Al said, “If they want a lesson, I think you should teach them. You could make a few dollars. I don’t see a problem.”

“You don’t understand. I have evolved. I am now a writer.”

“Betty, you have a talent and you are going to lose it if you don’t stay in it. Besides, I asked you to paint a duck landing on the water. I found a beautiful picture of ducks on the water, and I asked you to paint it a long time ago, and you haven’t.”

“I don’t have time. I am marketing this book.”

“I’ll never get a duck painting.” Al pouted.

I’d opened up a can of worms.

I defended myself. “I painted a pheasant painting for you. I’ve painted portraits of all your dogs. Wasn’t that enough?”

Then Al brought up another pet peeve: “And besides, you are always on the computer. If you would stay off the computer, you would have time to paint.”

That was the way the day began, and continued.

Mikey, my marketing coach, called. I thought if anyone could understand, he would. He is a part of all this social marketing I’m doing on the computer.

I told Mikey my tale of woe.

He listened patiently, then he said: “Are you through whining? Your problem is in you. You have devalued your gift. You do not respect the gift in your hands.”

“No, it’s not like that. It’s everyone else who doesn’t value my worth.”

Then Mikey said, “I told you a year ago that your art would dwarf your book. You didn’t believe me. Your art will be a big part of your success.”

“I’m not there today; I’m ready to go on.”

Mikey didn’t give in. “This is your assignment. Spend a half hour before the Lord. Think about why the Lord put gold in your hands. Don’t think about it as being gold, think of it as purpose in your hands and what God wants you to do with it. Also, think about the purpose of teaching others and what you are giving. Remember, the provision is always in your presence.”

“I guess I can do that.” I said, reluctantly.

Before we hung up, he said, “And paint the ducks for Al. Remember, he is the most important person in your life.”

I was still frustrated. I had too much to do as it was, and now I had to paint a duck.

I needed some quick answers. I was still stewing about the fact that people my age have time to do nothing; they are going on cruises, going out to lunch, reading a book and my life is speeding up and I can’t keep up with it.

The faster I go, the more is expected of me.

Something has to give.

In a quiet moment, I finally settled down in who I am and the Spirit in me. I can trust the Lord to move on me to do the things He has required me to do. If He sends someone along who wants to learn how to paint, then the Provision is in my presence and there is definite purpose. It’s not how I’ve evolved, but who the Lord brings into my life that I might bless them. Isn’t that what it is all about?

For those to whom God has given much, He requires much. He does not require anything He hasn’t given.

It is not the answer I wanted to hear, but I know there is purpose in it and that purpose has eternal value.

I just wrote another article, and I got a lot of frustration off my mind. Thanks for reading. The ducks are waiting, but that is another story for another time.

Final brushstroke: Move in the Spirit. Trust the Provision in your presence. What you thought was something you once did, might be that very thing to move you into your current possibility. Anyway, that’s what they tell me.

Artist’s quote

“When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.” — Tecumseh, Shawnee chief.

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