If only life were as simple as the title of this post suggests. We all start with a blank slate and write our own story. The truth is, our slates are colored by others in ways that are sometimes affirming and sometimes harmful. When we finally become aware that we have any agency what so ever in our narrative, we are the result of many people who have etched on our souls ways and processes by which we respond to the world. Our stories are not our own.
As we get older we begin to assume responsibility for our actions and take over the role of artist and creator in our lives. While we may not be able to erase those parts of our slate that have wounded us, we can paint broad strokes over those unhealthy places and reclaim those parts for ourselves. Many of us don’t realize until much later that we are capable of framing the portraits of our lives. We allow others to continue to wield power over places that should be ours. Our freedom is found in reclaiming our own voice.
“Now wait just a minute,” you say. “Isn’t God the author of our stories? The one who paints on this blank slate?” Well, yes, but we must claim and share our part in the process. God is the one who holds our hand steady as we paint. The vision of what we shall put on the canvas is created by God. We must be still and capture the picture that will become the painting. It is up to us to get the work done. To assume that we have no part in the creation of the work is to diminish our role in the process of being human.
I hope that we continue to pray to the one who guides our hands and create the work of the master of all works. May our painting reflect the incredible love of our amazing God. While the slate is not blank, it can capture the brilliance of the creator of life. We embrace our divine inspiration with the hope that our work will reflect the love of the Holy One.