02 April 2012

the big picture

Last week I submitted a painting to my church's newest art exhibit, Overcome. All the accepted submissions were arranged in the hallway/gallery on Saturday. They will remain up for several months.

I'd thought my painting brilliant. It is certainly my best so far. Not perfect in technique (something I'm still learning), but perfect to me. Beyond all the time I put into its creation; beyond all the care and effort it took from me; beyond all of that, it portrays my daily battle against depression in a very tangible way. It means something to me.

But seeing it among the other paintings submitted to the exhibit was humbling. Truly humbling. My work fades into everything else. It is simply a piece of a great collection. A smaller piece. In fact, I do not know if anyone would miss it if it were not there.

I didn't submit my painting for recognition or a blue ribbon, but even so I felt at a loss. It is so big to me that seeing it look any less big is a bizarre experience.

The painting is like my life.

I am so close to the stresses, dramas, and problems of my life that they seem huge. But if I take a step back I see that I am only an minuscule piece of the big picture. My problems are inconsequential. The world truly does not revolve around me.

My life is trivial in the grand scheme of things, yet at the same time it is also important. Humans are not isolated beings. Remove my minuscule piece and all the lives that I have touched, all the lives I will touch, will remain untouched. It may not be a devastating change, but it just might change the shape of the big picture.

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