|Original Art by Cecilia Marie Pulliam|
Jesus said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11
When I first began art lessons, my dad encouraged me and gave me a challenge with each painting. “That’s good, Sisser, but not as good as Jackson.”
Jackson was a regional artist whose large painting hung in our living room. For years I worked hard to be as good an artist as Jackson. Then one day, I gave my dad a painting of one of his favorite subjects: a ponderosa pine, an old cabin, and mountains draped in snow.
My dad said, “It’s just as good as Jackson’s.”
I was thrilled, I wanted to burst into song and dance.
Then he added, “But not as good as Charles Russell.”
He was right. I was better than some, but not as good as others.
It’s the same for life in general. I am not the least, nor the greatest, but somewhere in between. I prefer sitting a back corner rather than at the head of the table, if possible. I am not exclusively an introvert, but rather a mix with some traits of both and the introvert and the extrovert. I can talk up a storm in a one-on-one conversation, but clam up in large groups.
I don’t want, or seek the limelight, but I don’t want to be ignored either. In other words, I am part of the general populace, neither all good nor all bad, neither extremely talented nor without talent, neither exalted nor cast out.
According to Luke, that’s a good place to be.
I’ll be happy for a backseat in heaven, but would be ecstatic if God nodded in my direction and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
To that end, I must continue to live and work, without making comparisons, without declaring my unworthiness, without calling out my goodness. I’ll leave that up to God. I just want to get through that gate.