Recently, I took up drawing. I even bought myself a sketch book and a “Learning How To Draw For Beginners” for my birthday. I didn’t realize it was for ages 6-12 but, whatever, man. Michelangelo was once twelve, too, so… cool. I envisioned becoming a late blooming artist that would create these masterpieces. The sketching worship pastor. This is one of my masterpieces:

I wish I had kept the receipt. Truthfully, I never really thought I’d be good and, what do you know? I was right. But honestly, I don’t draw or sketch to be good. I sketch because it relaxes me. I like drawing old houses in the country. Sometimes, I just create these weird, cool shapes that mean nothing. I like drawing different shaped crosses and I enjoy drawing the occasional cartoonish kind of sketching. But my favorite thing to draw is birds. I don’t know why, but drawing birds relaxes me the most. I try not to psycho-analysis this too much – I just know that drawing birds is cool. I can’t tell you what kind of birds they are. I just go online, type in “birds” in the goggle search and scroll through images until I find a bird I want to draw. When I start feeling anxious, I draw a bird.  When I’m sad, I draw a bird. When I get mad, I draw a bird. Which is a huge improvement because before Jesus I used to just give the bird but now I draw a bird.

My son John will sometimes come home and I’m sitting there with my sketch book and he says “Drawing birds again, Dad?” Yeah, it’s ridiculous, I know, because to anyone else looking at them, they’re pretty deformed and ugly-looking. But to me, those are my birds. I made them. I created them. Sometimes they have lots of detail and I even bust out the colored pencils to fill them out. Sometimes they’re left in black and white. And sometimes they hardly seem finished, but I like my birds. And I’m not a bird guy.

It’s funny, though, what the Lord gives us to soothe our hearts and slow down our minds. I’ve found a quiet way to meditate with God through drawing. Even when the TV is on, once I open that sketch book, it’s just me, God and the birds. I imagine that – though far more skilled – God went through the same, pain-staking process of thoughtful creating each of his creations. When I think of how God detailed me so specifically, it’s overwhelming. The way I think, how I feel, what I’m good at and even how I struggle… all part of exactly how God made me.

There’s not a huge take-away from this. No deep, profound idea or thought, but if I could encourage you to do anything, today, perhaps it’s this: Be still and rest. Sit under a tree, hop in your pool, crank the AC in your car and take a short drive. Get alone with God and your thoughts and simply dwell and the fact that YOU are His great, intentional creation and not only did He design you perfectly, He knows everything about you. That gives me peace. Now, I got some more birds to draw…

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