Friday, February 22, 2013

A Lesson from Mr. B

I recently got word that my art teacher from elementary through High School, Charlie Brown, (yes, that's his real name), was retiring after 50 years of service to Bellevue Christian School. Mr. B (as he is affectionately known) is a great man and I am reminded of something he taught me long ago.

I believe I was in Junior High at the time, in Art class, and I was working on a drawing, trying painstakingly to put on paper what I saw in my mind's eye. I made a mistake and grew increasingly frustrated, which Mr. B picked up on. He came by my desk and asked what was wrong...I showed him my blunder. He replied simply, "there are no mistakes...you just make it into something else." He then proceeded to take his pencil and turn what I thought was a mistake into something beautiful.

Little did I know at the time the valuable lessons he had just imparted on me.

  • At the highest level, he saved my drawing that day.
  • Going a little deeper, he gave me a way to approach problems and mistakes...that instead of brooding on the mistake, you turn it into something else. Sure the end result might look different from what you had intended, but not necessarily worse...and quite often, better.
  • At the deepest level he showed me God. I believe this is one of God's greatest joys; taking what we think are mistakes and blunders, sins and scars, and redeeming them for His glory. In essence taking what we think is ugly, and making it into something beautiful.
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28 - NAS)

"That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." (Romans 8:28 - The Message)

The lessons here are two-fold; first, remember that there is no blunder or mistake, no sin or scar, that is so great that God, the great Healer, cannot redeem. He can make anything beautiful. The second lesson is this...because of Mr. B's retirement, I was able to email this story to someone who is compiling these memories for him. So take moment and think of someone who has greatly impacted you, and write them a note or send them an email. Let them know how much it meant.

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