Paint Lessons

From January…

After multiple trips to the hardware store and the paint store, I washed the brushes, threw away the trash, lidded the cans and ditched my 2015 Old Navy t-shirt that was streaked with paint.

Done. I was done.

While the paint dried I took a shower, put on my comfy chill clothes, and popped my seltzer water. Such a great feeling after 3 days of painting.

Later I went back to admire the fresh, unmarked hallways while they last–I do have 3 children and it was their hallway–and noticed some problems. The second can of paint, the second coat, the gallon that I begrudgingly went and bought when one coat coverage was “guaranteed”–was every so slightly lighter than the first coat. All the edging, was just a little bit darker.

Note that I even painted the ceiling including the not fun physical task of “cutting in”! I rollered 2 coats and spent 3 days on this project. Everything was cleaned up, put away, washed.

I was comfy and clean. With my seltzer water reward in my hand! This was not good news.

My daughter quickly noticed the problem. Bummer. I could maybe live with it if it was just me that noticed. My husband didn’t notice until I pointed it out. Hmmm. I couldn’t escape that nagging knowledge that it just wasn’t done.

Soul searching ensued. Did I really want to look at that paint job for the next 5+ years and notice it every time?

Nope. So, today I’m correcting the job. Yay.

Some of my drive to do these complete-able tasks is that my life is full of things that are never done. Raising children and student ministry are constant and slow endeavors. The celebrations usually come at waypoints along the journey instead of finish lines.

Taking on a job like dishes or painting brings some welcome order and satisfaction. I used to not like those things, those kinds of chores. Now they give me some energy to keep engaged in the constancy of other areas of life.

They remind me that there is a finish line in life. There was a point where certain jobs were done and changed the course of history. Jesus declared His work finished on the cross for one. We may not see it fulfilled in our day to day life, but it is done–all this mess of living that we live has hope because Jesus finished His gift of paying our debts through His sacrifice.

Life is not just one long unending circle or journey with no fulfillment, no completion. It can seem that way though.

When life seems to be just about the next thing, then the next, and the next. When, day to day, its hard to see any change taking place in our kids maturity and we fear for them and doubt our parenting. When pain and sickness go on and on, chronic to life, its hard to imagine a point when life takes over and death and destruction are no more.

For all these reasons, I paint walls from time to time. I take pleasure in a pile of neatly folded laundry or freshly washed dishes. Because in them, I get the hint and assurance that this world is not all there is and the futility of life will one day give way to the fulfillment of God’s promises for His creation.

So, today, I’m finishing my hallway paint job in hope and agreement that things do get finished…one day.

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