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Brush Strokes

A couple years ago I spent an afternoon at the Art Institute of Chicago.

I’ll be honest. I know nothing about art – but I know enough to be impressed and rightly awed when I encounter a piece by Monet.

I don’t remember the piece, but I do remember standing for several minutes admiring the beauty of his craftsmanship.

I took a step closer and looked at the individual brush strokes.

It was incredible to think that each of those strokes was made by Monet himself.

But the longer I looked at the brush strokes, the more I lost the big picture.

It occurred to me that there was nothing particularly masterful about any one of the streaks of paint.

But when you put that stroke alongside hundreds – maybe thousands – of equally unremarkable strokes, you get a masterpiece.

I don’t know what brush stroke you’re on right now.

It may be the warm yellow stroke that tells of a sweet season bursting with possibility. Or the blue tones of a restful season inviting you to slow down. Or the anxious red that speaks to a tense situation still unresolved. It may be the dark grays of a storm that threatens to engulf you.

Whatever it may be, don’t mistake one stroke for the whole masterpiece. There’s more to you than the stroke you’re on now.

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