A few days ago a young man visited with me in my gallery. He declared that he was an atheist and that God could not exist because of all the ugliness in the world. He had experienced a hard life and was filled with anger. “Why should I believe in God?’ he exclaimed.
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He had mentioned that he was a movie enthusiast, so I thought to remind him of the movie Gladiator. (One of my favorites) Remember the beginning scene, just as he is about to go to war, Maximus smiles as he sees the bird singing on a branch near him. He managed to find beauty in the midst of ugliness. He then rubs his hands in the dirt and smells it to remind him of his home and family as he is about to go to battle. In a world of chaos it is important to find the beauty and remember what is truly important.
In my life I have chosen to view the world around me as if I’m outside of the box looking in. This means that I don’t allow “the world” to decide who I will become. I have chosen to create a world which is centered in God, family, country and all the things that are beautiful. Although I recognize that there is chaos and ugliness in the world, I choose to FOCUS on the beauty which is around me. And having room for God in your life opens the door to all things beautiful!
Remembering to stay “outside the box” is helpful in many ways. If I receive praise or if I receive ridicule it is unimportant unless there is something to learn from it. I don’t worry about what people think of me. Only what the Lord thinks of me is important. If I can make a difference, I will do it.
Perhaps this perspective has helped to develop my sensitivity as an artist, but it also has helped me to draw closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ. I believe that God loves all of us and that there is a purpose that guides the affairs of men. I believe that when we put our faith and trust in God, it elevates our spirits and we find ourselves capable to go beyond our physical efforts. You might say we lay the foundation for miracles! But God never forces us; it is a matter of choice.
Although life is hard and sometimes cruel, if you view your experiences from “outside the box” looking in, I believe you will be able to see the divine purpose in your life. You will find the world is more beautiful than you can imagine.