There are two ways I currently use my creativity: photography and writing. Both of them enrich my life, and maybe even enrich others’ lives when I share them. But one of them breaks my heart sometimes, and the other gives “do-over”s for mess ups…
Photography is thrilling… when the light is right and I’ve figured out the correct settings on my camera (trying NOT to use “auto”),
when the moment is there–a blue heron eating a tadpole, my kids jumping off a dock, a Hunger Games archery contest. Then the light is gone, and so is the moment. And despite that little screen on the back of my camera, I still don’t know if I got it perfect. When I load the photos onto my TV screen, sometimes my heart breaks. Yes, breaks. Because I missed it. Horribly. Maybe it was out of focus, ever-so-slightly. Or that Snowy Egret white is too bright. Or my shutter speed was wrong and that jump off the dock is a little blurred. No photo shop program can fix it. And I never get a do-over. Those moments are gone.
Writing is different. As I’m writing, I can mull it over, try it out, mess around with it until I get it right. Sometimes, the words I’ve been longing to type enter my brain in the middle of the night or on my 20th draft. And unless my computer crashes, or all the scraps of paper blow away in the wind, I have another chance to fix it and get it right.
Life is a combination of these. There are moments that are gone forever. Words that we can’t take back, or words that we should have said and didn’t. Relationships that can never be fixed because the person is gone from this life. Kids grow up, Christmases pass away, and life marches on. We really only get one shot… But there is another aspect to life. There are ways we can grow and develop, spiritually, emotionally, physically, to become more like the people we really want to be.
And the truth of it is–no matter if we have lost those moments forever or completely wrecked our lives–if we never became the person we wanted to be–there is forgiveness in Christ. Because ALL of us make mistakes–and no matter how hard we try, we’ll never make ourselves “good” enough to “get into heaven”–God sent Jesus to earth as His gift to us, to live the perfect life, to die a death He didn’t deserve… The Bible says “the penalty for sin is death”. But since Jesus didn’t sin, He couldn’t stay dead. And it changed everything. The curse of sin is broken. The Bible also says “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” The other half of the first quote is “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” I’m so thankful our lives are more than photography mistakes and rewrites.