Turning 40 & Masterpiece
I turned 40 today. Wow, that's weird to type. Some say, 40 is the half-time of your life. This picture sort of illustrates some of my reflections on reaching this milestone.
Recently, Ammie and I had the immense privilege of taking a once in a lifetime vacation to Italy. We dipped ourselves into the Renaissance history and reveled in the art and culture of Michelangelo. We stood under "David" - a 17 foot sculpture that truly is a masterpiece. The fine details, the proportions, and the beautiful lines that have withstood the test of time. It was even more amazing when we learned that Michelangelo was only 26 years old when he was commissioned by the Pope for this project. Lining the hallway leading up to David were unfinished sculptures that Michelangelo also created, but didn't have time to finish.
The concept of masterpiece reminded me of Ephesians 2:10, where Paul writes, that we are "God's masterpiece (or workmanship), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them".
If you've ever watched how sculptures are made, it's a very timely, intentional, long, patient process. It took Michelangelo 3 years to complete David. This picture reminds me of how I think God view us and since it's only half complete, reminds me of how I feel as I turn 40. I'm like this chiseled block of marble, unfinished, with a lot of stone that still needs to be chipped away. God, like Michelangelo to a slab of marble, continues to refine me, as he does all of those who follow Him, so that we will reflect more of his image, which is so perfectly reflected in Jesus. The beauty is, God sees all of my potential and the future of what He desires for me to become, just like David off in the distance.
Like an artist, God's patiently using different tools (people, circumstances, hardships, victories) to sculpt, chip and smooth me into a unique masterpiece- one that more accurately reflects his own character and likeness. The major difference is that I'm not unresponsive and without a choice in the matter (like a slab of marble), but an active participant who, in humble submission as an act of worship, bends and yields to the changes God desires to make within me. The hope that is such an encouragement is that I will not remain unfinished, but will one day be perfected. So as I turn 40, I realize, at least for life on this earth, it's just half time. The best is still to come.