I have a passion to paint. I love oils with which I paint landscapes and wildlife mostly.
There have been moments I connected with someone where we lived and we started a painting class.
One of those times a friend and I painted weekly at a nursing home where I also worked part time. The residents would gather around, watch us paint and eat our cookies.
A lady in her 80’s observed us from her wheelchair, and appeared each time, as soon as she could get a nurse aide to push her down to the dining room where we were set up.
One day she remarked, “I always wanted to paint.” So my friend Kathy and I encouraged, brought her up to the table, shared canvas and paints and coached her. She was sometimes late joining us due to waiting for someone to push her wheelchair to the dining room.
After a few times of missing part of the time for painting, this lovely lady came to painting one morning pushing her own wheelchair! She had her art supplies in the seat. And she always walked to painting after that. And shared how she now looked at the world differently, really observing scenery when her son took her for a drive, studying how she would paint that scene, what colors she would use. She went on to put her paintings on greeting cards.
At home, I think I’ll reward myself when the necessary chores are done. But by then, I’m tired, and depressed. And because I’m reaching but never getting the carrot dangling in front of me, I feel tired and energyless. (Not a word my laptop says, but it fits me.)
When I start my day working on a painting, instead of saving it for the end of the day, I feel energized. As with my writing.
I have more enthusiasm to tackle the rest of my day. The excitement of doing what I love and even being pleased with most of it, seems to rejuvenate me physically and mentally.
So, don’t put off the things in life that are worthy of pursuit and bring you pleasure. They are balm for the soul to use a cliché. God planted the ability to feel pleasure over many things in us.
He wants us to think about "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV.
Even if we can't find something in our earthly life that fits those adjectives, we can think about Jesus who is all those things.