Perhaps, the one word that influences existing is happiness. Within this word are the establishments of many decisions and choices we make. Our success and failures, these are all somewhat the root of the awareness to be happy. A baby, when in discomfort cries for a change from one stage to another, to be happy. A young adult will apply his or her self now, for a better future for tomorrow. The elderly seek a better retirement than the commencement of adulthood. The illustration portrays three different time frames with diverse individualities. But the similarity is, everyone at one-point desires a change, but isn’t willing to accept the transition period of the change. From the declaration of a change to the possession of the change.
It is during this time we discover who we are, or others will relate the abrupt ending of the story concerning those who quit.
The discovery of who I am is the realization of what I’ve learned. This is not predicated on what I have, rather what I am willing to learn. What I have learned thus far, is the narrative of a walking new man. Walking is progressing while learning to forget those things of the past, by accepting the new changes along the way.
As an artist, since I can remember, art has always been a part of my life. Nevertheless, a talent without a purpose is a potential likely to fail. As a Christian, failure is preventable if we realize the purpose of a given talent. Purpose is defined as an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions. Then the question is, if we cannot determine what lies ahead of us in the next hour, how can we successfully plan to anticipate the outcome of our actions or future?
The financial client seeks out the best financial adviser with a better understanding of finances to handle their money.
The tourist follows a tour guide on their trip because the tour guide has a better understanding of the location than those who are visiting.
These everyday decisions are made by trusting the outcome to those we know are better than us in such situations.
As for the future, no one knows the future or the hour at hand, but God. However, we are prone to trust ourselves than trust in God. When failures arise from trusting in self, at this point when failure is not accepted, it becomes denial. Confined by your own decisions, the God we put below our dreams and plans, is the same God we blame.
Before the realization of A Walking New Man
I planned my own future, or so I thought. With multiple art awards, national and international before high school. Then came my high school years, still drawing and painting, but without any direction, then came my junior year of high school. I had my first invention patent, as an inventor, with many patents pending. With these temporal accomplishments, my focus was my success with faith in my abilities. Drawn into the works of my own hands, everything around me became obsolete.
Accomplishments, but without fulfillment. "Where is the happiness?" I thought. There must be more to life than this.
The once lusher works of my hands, the desire of my heart, was nothing more, but a withering plant. With broken roots in a hard place, yet I let not go.
Augustine was right when he said, the soul, created for God, will not rest until it rests in God.
Slowly my artworks began to reflect my thinking, my experience and condition. Spontaneously, my works were telling a story. I was in this story, but unaware of its theme. Years later, I decided to build another art portfolio. During the selection of my artworks for the portfolio, I had an intuition. The need of a picture book showcasing my works, outweighed the need of another art portfolio. Still unaware of the unifying theme of my works, I began to select the paintings, illustrations and drawings for the picture book. It is incumbent on all artists to select their very best works in such a scenario.
However, a voice within me disallowed certain selections. Instead of the beautiful landscape paintings, the realistic fine art portraits, and the drafting of complex components and inventions. The works selected, all had one thing in common, a unifying theme reflecting my walk, my experience, good or bad, and what lies ahead of me.
There weren’t awards from such selections or endorsements as it was in the past, but what I gained is what we all seek, happiness.
When happiness is from above, it is joy within. Sometimes happiness is not based on what we have, but understanding who we are. I am created in the image of God, the soul, created for God, will not rest until it rests in God. My rest is not striving to be great through my willpower. Rest is Living by faith, doing the little things. Blessing others through the testimony of the changes in my life, knowing there is a God who cares. For He said, I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
The selection of my works led to the book, more than a picture book, a recollection of my past, my family, my upbringing, trusting the Lord and the accumulation of wisdom.
I’m not perfect today, but I am a walking new man after Him who is perfect. That my life may reflect the love and the grace of God onto others. Even though this is my testimony. Yet, it is not about me. It is about Jesus Christ and Who He is and what He has done in me and the ongoing works of the Holy Spirit in me. These words were written not for my glory, but His glory. The testimony of all believing Christians is the same. I was lost, now I’m found.
My words to Him is my prayer of gratitude.
Thank you, Father, by your Grace I stand in your presence by faith.
Teach me your way O Lord. Replace my fear of the unknown with the knowing of You, because in You is Your good will for me.
Bless my heart to trust You. That I may show patients in my endurance to know You. Teach me beforehand that I may comprehend the changes that are at hand.
Teach me Your promises that in tribulation I may see Your love for me.
Thank You for becoming a man. Now I know You know the pain that I sometimes feel.
Conform me into Your Words. That You may watch over me more than all.
Great is Your faithfulness, in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.