My niece moved here recently from Colorado. Before the family of five arrived, I spent many hours making plans involving them and fantasizing about all the things we’d be able to do together now that they’d be close by. Of course they were not consulted and had no idea of my grand plans.
I’ve made such plans for years for all of my family. My sister does the same, and we consult regularly about our wishful thinking. We realized that we learned this habit from our mom, who made plans for us and our families involving increasingly elaborate details–the older she became, the more time she had to let her imagination run wild. Now we are retired and have more time, especially in the long months of pandemic confinement, and guess what? We now do the same.
For the last few years we’ve referred to this consuming pastime as “painting”– using our well-worn paint brushes to create an ideal picture of what we want to happen and then place everyone in it. By the time we’ve completed a picture, it is no longer a sketch but a veritable masterpiece using every color on the palette. This is a clear example of the Murphy’s Law that says the job expands to the amount of time at hand! According to Proverbs 17:24, “A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.” The extent of these musings is not only foolish but also a sure set-up for disappointment.
I read a large scale study that showed participants spent on average 47% of their waking time daydreaming. It distracts our attention from the present and focuses on what we’d like to see in the future, a stream of consciousness that detaches us from real life and responsibilities. Proverbs 19:21 states, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Though a little daydreaming can be a delightful escape, it sounds like I need to stop planning other peoples’ lives, recalibrate my thinking, and set my focus on the truth of God’s Word.
In Revelation 21 and 22, the apostle John paints a detailed picture of the dazzling beauty of the New Jerusalem where all believers will dwell with God for all eternity. Unlike my faux painting, this picture is God’s truth. The Bible provides clear instructions on how to get ready. I’m trying hard to put my paint brush away at least most of the time and think about that.
Faux Painting © September 2021 by Bonnie Barthel. All Rights Reserved.
Graphic: weinstock – pixabay.com
I am so happy again to have our guest author for this post, Bonnie Barthel. I have known Bonnie for several years and she has a wonderful walk with our Lord despite many setbacks in life. She challenges us to not keep planning for others, but focus on the truth of God’s Word.
Happy Fall !
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ChristianPoetryPublishing.com – ”As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ ” (Holy Bible – Acts 17:28)