For me, 2012 is the year of the chisel. Have a few minutes? Let’s watch this video together.
I thought it was living in such a small town where my history stalked me in every grocery store aisle and restaurant. CLINK.
I thought it was being convinced I was a triangle peg in the very square holes of my community; be it Starbucks, church, my kids school or Wal-Mart. CLINK.
I thought it was the crushing debt and poverty thinly veiled behind my cheerful smile where 123 Never Enough, Dead End America became my address. CLINK.
I thought it was the hangover from so many crushing losses. The previous two years took so many pieces of my heart, I wondered how it continued to beat. Family, friendships, and dreams all boxed and buried beneath sickness, betrayal and misunderstanding. CLINK.
All these became tools in the hands of the One. The One who took me seriously when asked, from the filthy floor of a stockroom, to make something of a life worth nothing. His response? He began to chisel.
Lysa Teurkeurst in her book, “Unglued”, talked about this process of chiseling. She writes, in the section “The Unfinished Sculpture”, of the journey of Michelangelo’s sculpture of David.
The sculpture was actually begun before Michelangelo was even born! “The 19 foot block of marble had originally been the project of an artist named Agnostino di Duccio, but after shaping some of the legs, feet, and torso, he inexplicably abandoned the work.” Ten years later, another artist was hired to finish it but his contract was cancelled. 25 years after that, a young 26-year-old Michelangelo, “picked up a chisel and dared to believe he could complete a masterpiece.”
For more than two years the artist ate, slept and breathed the sculpture. He literally slept in the same room with the piece of marble. “I saw the angel in the marble,” he said, “and carved until I set him free. When asked how he made such a magnificent statue, Michelangelo said, ‘It is easy. You just chip away at the stone that doesn’t look like David.”
I thought I was a victim of circumstance and poor choice. God saw an opportunity to chip away at the places which held me captive. He removed the hard places which don’t look like me-the Me He originally created. He loves me enough to chisel at the stone around my heart, soul and mind.
It’s been painful. It’s still a work in progress. However, it’s progress.
Today, this first day of 2013. I begin it hopeful. I begin it more free. I begin it more fully formed, thankful for some of the hard pieces having been chiseled away. There is oh so much more to be chiseled. At least, for now, I dare to believe it is to complete a masterpiece.
I pray you too would allow the One who designed you to pick up his chisel and find the Masterpiece inside your life.