What's next, is rather a general question. It can refer to any aspect of our lives. In the past couple of weeks, I've been asking myself this question. The question was asked in the context of my work as an artist. After just finishing a series of paintings it is time to see what the next step or direction will be.
During the creative process of this next body of work I've been refreshed in certain truths about God. My inadequacies as an artist have pointed me to God's strong character and left me in more awe and worship of Him than before.
At the first stage of my creative endeavor different ideas flood my mind. They come and go. Sometimes they linger for a while making me believe it is finally a good one, just to realize after few hours or days, that it was just the opposite. The first part of the creative process is definitely the hardest. What should I make that's worth making? What's important enough to be said? How will my message be conveyed and received? Those are just some of the questions I go through before any paint ever touches the canvas, even before I prepare my canvas. I am uncertain, full of doubts, and concerns. I can't see the outcome from the beginning. I can make predictions and visualize the idea the best I can, but I'll never be certain about how exactly it will turn out. My inadequacy points me to God. Our God is omnipotent and omniscient. He doesn't need to make predictions and guesses. He knows! God knows the end from the beginning. In every aspect of our life, we can be certain that God has a plan. It may be cliche to say it but it is true.
At the next stage of the process, which would be execution, another stuggle begins. It is easier than the initial stage, yet still difficult. Creating a picture is a very engaging process of mark making, covering, reworking, erasing, mixing, reworking again, and sometimes starting all over again. It is a pursuit to convey the message in a powerful way. God does not struggle when He sets His plan in motion. We may struggle as we go through it, but God knows how it will play out step by step. He is the Creator of the universe. The stars are His finger paintings. We serve a God who's holy, a perfect God. He is made strong when we are weak.
Then comes the final stage. I step back from my work. After pouring hours into it, I need to distance myself from it emotionally, and look at it critically. Is it working? Is it good? Is it doing and accomplishing what I set out to do? Hopefully the outcome is positive, otherwise it is back to stage 2 or even stage 1. But does God do that? Does He set out to do something that is not best? Or does He change His mind along the way? Absolutely not.“For I am the Lord, I do not change;" (Mal. 3:6). When God created the earth, it was good. When God created mankind, it was good. When God set his plan of salvation into motion, it was good. God has the best knowledge of what good is. He sees the end from the beginning. He is the Alpha and the Omega. We cannot forget that God is almighty. We need to humble ourselves before Him and trust Him. Trust Him with all of our heart, with every fiber of our being. Our God is worthy. He knows what's next.