Recently, I’ve begun painting rocks.
It started when I found a pretty little painted rock of a fox surrounded by holly and ivy.
The back of the rock instructed me to keep or re-hide it and to post a picture of it on a Facebook page where the creator joined forces with others to paint and hide the rocks.
I began looking at the mini masterpieces pictured on that page and was impressed. I asked how I could learn more about the hobby which centered around bringing joy to others through beautiful images and encouraging words. Given my passion to bring encouragement to others, this seemed like a perfect fit!
The group of ladies were warm and welcoming, inviting me to one of their instructional gatherings where I could learn about the products and techniques they used.
I’ve been participating for about 6 months and slowly improving. A friend saw some of my rock pictures and asked me to come up with some designs for a charity soccer tournament she runs in honor of her son.
My desire was to create a soccer ball with wings, but I haven’t mastered creating dimension yet. I tried repeatedly to capture design of the ball and was ready to give up and toss the rock. I painted again and again, covering failed attempt after failed attempt with another coat of paint.
Finally, I used different colors and created different patterns until I wound up with something reminiscent of an Amish quilt. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a far cry better than the soccer ball. The finished product began to grow on me, so I decided to risk the embarrassment of releasing my less than perfect piece to the public.
I placed my offering in a local garden/park where someone found it and posted a picture. I was so excited someone liked it and shared!
This week, a picture of the rock popped up on the Facebook page again. I was shocked to learn it had traveled all the way to Buffalo, Wyoming. Two days later, the rock-finder let me know it had traveled back to the East Coast and was now somewhere in Nashville, Tennessee.
Wyoming is actually on my bucket list of states to visit one day, so I find it amusing that my rock got there first.
And it’s amazing to me that the rock that gave me the most difficulty, the one I was ready to toss aside and chalk up as a failure, is the one that has traveled the most, giving pleasure to those who have crossed its path.
My friends, isn’t life like that? Sometimes what appears to be our biggest failure leads to exciting opportunities and surprising results.
We try and try to do something a certain way but it just doesn’t work out. Finally, when we stop insisting on our own vision and allow God to work through us, something very different emerges. Something we never anticipated. That “failure” becomes something beautiful. God uses it to bring joy to others.
Romans 8:28 (ESV) says “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
So when you are frustrated by a situation that is not going according to your plan; when you think the whole thing is just a big failure; remember that God is able to take pieces of shattered dreams and lives and press them together like a beautiful stained-glass window…or an Amish quilt… where the result is far more beautiful and intricate than the original vision could have ever been.