Draw what you see, not what you know.  

Despite my efforts to prove otherwise, I remain devoid of the ability to sketch.  I’ve always been painfully envious of people who can.  The elegant grip of their hand on the pencil, the way they persuade lines on paper to become something.  I find it moving, primitive.

And then I try, and most always end up feeling like throwing a tantrum.

In my art class, we’ve been told to focus on the basic idea of  trusting the lines.  Draw what you see, not what you know.  Now I find myself taking note of the lines in everything around me.  I see a face, an interesting pose, a gnarly and twisted tree branch, and my mind is suddenly preoccupied by how this object might be drawn.  How would I execute her delicate features?  How might I articulate the lighting?  The mood?  The answer, of course, is, first and foremost, to trust the lines.

Yesterday, as I took a walk around the building where I work, I decided there was a metaphor in that.  In trusting the true nature of things rather than our own limited human perspective.

You see, the most difficult decisions, for me, are the ones that I really have to make on my own.  The ones that God doesn’t seem to have a great big opinion about.  I do just fine with the big questions.  Such as, Hey, want some illegal drugs?  No, thanks!  Or, How about murder?  That’s probably a bad idea.

But when it comes to questions like, Oh, hey God, do you think I should I go back to school and get a degree or just keep working full time and saving money and going on trips and writing songs and doing house projects and taking fun local classes until I’m ready to produce children to then raise into humans?  What are your thoughts?  Hello?  HEY!  

And I used to think, How rude – why doesn’t he answer me?  But in reality, the answer is, Trust the lines.

 It really doesn’t matter much what I decide to sketch, what I enjoy doing, what interests I decide to pursue, so long as I trust the lines.  So long as I trust His perspective, His overall plan.

Up until a few years ago, I saw God the way you see your parents as an adolescent.  You know they love and want the best for you, but they seem like more of a dictator than friend.  Don’t date that degenerate!  Don’t attend that house party lacking in parental supervision!  What are you doing out of class?  Get your grades up!  Stop rolling your eyes!

Once I grew out of that, I spent some time pitying myself, feeling abandoned, throwing fits of, Why don’t you help me! What do I do!  

What I didn’t realize was, like any parent-child relationship, things had evolved.  When you get to the point where you’re no longer busy teetering over moral cliffs and your parents are no longer preoccupied with convincing you to walk a little farther from the edge of said cliffs, you have the opportunity to see them as actual people.  Who you can talk and laugh and relate with.  Who have funny stories and good ideas and valid opinions and actually want you to be an individual and follow your passions after all.  


14 thoughts on “lines.

  1. mmmm this rings so true in my life currently. I once was told that we so often see God as a parent that says no to sweets before dinner. We throw a tantrum and just cannot understand why it would be bad to eat dessert before a meal. But it's only when we get older and grow in responsibility that we see that God's intentions were actually for the best, we were just blind to His good works.

    Whenever I doubt His plan, I come back to that idea – that right now I am most probably blind to the good His plan will provide me, I just have to trust Him and one day soon or even not-so-soon the good will be revealed to me.

    Thanks for a wonderful reminder xx


  2. this is one of those posts that i really wouldn't comment on because it's just so perfect and i just agree and connect with what you wrote that there's really nothing else to say.


  3. I know this doesn't have to do much with your post (which was beautiful, by the way. Your photos are something from a dream), but did you ever have your art teacher tell you never to erase lines and to make all lines a happy one? I remember I was absolutely frustrated when she gave us pencils without erasers because we couldn't erase what we had drawn, but could only add on to what we created.

    Sometimes I think that applies to our lives in a way. We can't erase what has already been done, but we can make every line a happy line and move forward.

    And I'm done with that metaphor.


  4. This was so so moving. I've been feeling a lot of this myself lately about some life decisions and trials. Trust trust trust. Feel feel feel. Life finds a way.

    Also. yeah. I cannot sketch. I always get bored in class and hold my pencil gently above my paper hoping some magnificent casual sketch will appear. Nah. All I can draw are tornadoes.


  5. YES! I did! And it always drove me crazy. Erasing is a huge crutch for me. I love that you perpetuated the metaphor, made it even more than what I had. And that, I think, perpetuates it more. Because my knowledge was limited yet again 🙂


  6. I really appreciate that you take the time to read my stuff. Especially because I know you don't always agree with everything I write. I think you're great. And we can just suck at drawing together, k?


  7. iloveyou iloveyou iloveyou. i don't know why i ever stopped reading blogs– especially yours. i needed this awhile ago, i still need this right now. this omg. it applies immensely to my life right now. i'm bookmarking this so i can come back to it.

    it seems like gah– this is such a huge deal to me. go to el salvador in two weeks or not? go to homecoming with this guy or naw? and i keep begging God 'TELL ME WHAT TO DOOO” but maybe that's not the point. the point is trust in His purpose. He has a bigger plan. So much bigger then what we could ever imagine. just trust, go with the flow and God will lead.

    this is what your writing does for me. it like makes me just write and write and think and think. thank you SO much for this.



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