Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mural Madness: Are you living to conquer or living to discover?

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
—Jeremiah 29:13

Spotting another mural, Maryellen quickly jerked the wheel to turn into the parking lot. Just as quickly, I jumped out of the car to snap a photo and then we were off once more to capture another scene.

There were 23 murals pictured on the Hobe Sound Murals Locator Map and we were out to find them all, documenting each with a picture. We learned about the mural project at the local Chamber of Commerce, where a representative told us that the artist had hidden something in each painting.

Searching online, I tried to find out exactly what was hidden, but to no avail. Instead, I would have to search for the treasure in each beautiful scene without really knowing what I was searching for.

The problem was our schedule. Maryellen and I had only allotted a certain amount of time for our hunt, a few hours after dinner. With daylight waning, we had to move quickly. In the end, we were pleased to have conquered 15 of the 23 murals, most of them depicting tropical beaches, flora and fauna. 
However, two of the non-typical ones were my favorites. One depicted the old Hobe Sound Train Depot, which showed an artist on a ladder, painting the train into the scene. And the other was a trompe l'oeil image of an old-fashioned ice cream parlor with a happy young customer holding her cone and a blackboard behind her advertising the flavor of the day.

The Hobe Sound mural hunt was one of my favorite vacation activities, but in all the hustle-bustle to see as many as I could, it became more like a lopsided game of Hide-n-Seek. The artist had hidden a gem in every mural, but I didn’t spend enough time seeking to ever discover even one.

This activity reminds me of life.

Many of us are always in a rush to get to the next big thing, as if we are in a race to conquer, whether it is the degree, marriage, kids, a house, or a promotion with a big raise. We are discontented—or even discouraged over the present—and think we will not be happy until we reach the next scene. That is, until we get there. And then we long to be cast into another scene, and in our minds we start to paint the train to take us someplace else.

Setting goals and working to achieve them are not bad things. But in all this planning and longing for something new, we may fail to be fully present. We may not be still long enough to find the treasure in the current scene.

The Bible says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 NASB).

God has painted us in the present for a reason. And within it, He has hidden something valuable, perhaps a greater glimpse of Him or an opportunity for growth. But to discover it, we need to slow down and seek with all our heart, asking Him to give us the eyes to see the beauty of the day.

What scene has God painted you in? What does He want you to discover?

Dear God, You are the Master Artist. You have designed me for a specific purpose for this place in time. And You are here with me to guide, provide and protect. Help me to seek You more, taste the flavor of the day, and find what You long for me to discover. Amen.

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