While reading through a chapter in a book, have you ever stumbled on one nugget of truth that will stand out boldly like Mount Rushmore and you can’t get past it until you stop and spend time thinking on it?
That’s what happened to me this week as I read through Chapter 3 of the book “Unglued” and I read Lysa’s TerKeurst’s story about the Unfinished Sculpture that shared the same room with well-known masterpiece of “David” completed by Michelangelo.
The nugget that grabbed my attention was: “He (God) allows the unglued moments to make us aware of the chiseling that needs to be done.” I am an unfinished sculpture that needs to be chiseled, especially with all the unglued moments that I have had lately!
I thought about “chisel” a little bit more. Sculptors used a tool called a chisel to sculpt the stone and fashion it into the figure of what they see inside their mind, just as Michelangelo did with the sculpture of David. The chisel has a cutting edge at the end of the blade, often made of steel, that is used for cutting or reshaping stone. Chiseling is a slow, thought out process and cannot be hurried. As in the case of Michelangelo, it took him over two years of immersing himself into the job of sculpting David until he felt he was finished. This sculpture was not a small project; David stands 17 feet tall!
Through reading this chapter, I recognized that if I want God to chisel me, I have to allow him to design me into what HE sees me to be, not what I think I want myself to be. God’s sculpting may not be easy, and it will not be a hurried process. It may make me uncomfortable and I may question the decisions of where I am being chiseled, but it is the Sculptor alone who can do the job of fashioning me into something wonderful and beautiful! I rather be God’s workmanship and accomplish those things that He has already prepared in advance for me to do (Ephesians 2:10) instead of constantly struggling to figure it out on my own.
And isn’t that where real freedom will take place?
Starting this week, I am excited to be a part of an online bible study with the book, “Unglued”, by Lysa TerKeurst and facilitated by online bible study leader, Melissa Taylor. This book has been on my “to read” list for some time, and just when I began to bury myself into it, information on this online study came to my attention. No simple coincidence, right? Let’s just say that I couldn’t get my mouse clicking fast enough to get enrolled!
Just in the first chapter I am struck by the similarities of Lisa’s account versus my own experiences. As a woman in her “later 40s”, I feel helpless with my emotions at times (okay — countless times!), wondering if this if the beginning of the dreaded period of aging change, or if there is something else wrong with me. Why must I deal with these emotions anyway? Why did God make me like this? “God gave me emotions so I could experience life, not destroy it.” (page 16) Yes, I want to experience life!
Within me is the strong desire to make positive changes, but I also have that not-so-good-at-times trait of perfectionism: “I am going to do this right, or I just won’t do it at all!” There are some perfectionists who drive themselves crazy by working hard to make it perfect, but there is also the type of perfectionist that can become so overwhelmed with the thought of having to do it perfect, that they don’t even try it at all for the fear of doing it wrong. Guess which one I am?
Thank goodness there is what Lisa calls, “Imperfect Progress”, those “slow steps of progress wrapped in grace.” (page 14) I can do slow. I sure do like progress. And I certainly can do imperfect! As a wife and mother who prefers to complete many projects quickly and efficiently, I have come to realize that seeking change for myself will have to be a longer process. Trusting God will be a part of this process — He has never let me down before. In fact, in my bible reading today I came across Isaiah 40:31 which reminded me of God’s faithfulness: “But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” I am certainly ready to make some imperfect progress. Will you join me on this journey?
If you want more information about the “Unglued” online bible study, click HERE for more info.