Thursday, December 16, 2010

He Did WHAT to the Car? or Mistakes You Can't Hide

As I am sure many of you have already seen, I have been painting our logo and website address on Ty’s beat up Corsica which he just gave a new coat of Harley orange paint. As I painted I had three distinct thoughts that kept running through my head, but only two are fit to share here.

1. When you work on a large scale all your mistakes become large scale too.

When I designed the Pagus logo of the winged lion I did it quickly, and relatively small. My hands were able to move fast and with confidence, my pen strokes were effortless because the motions were tight. Painting on the hood of a car meant I had to lengthen the lines and every little tremor showed.

I couldn’t help but think how this act really summed up the season that Pagus is moving into. It is a time when we will be doing more, both in quantity and scope, and all of our wobbles will be visible. It is a scary thought, the idea that we can’t hide behind our smallness anymore. We will be more visible, in both the things we get right and the things we totally flub up.

But it is like that with God. He often requires that we move out of our safe places, stop playing it small so that we can hide our mistakes. He knows that we aren’t always going to get it right, that our hands are going to shake, and the world will see the tremor, but he still wants us to try. He still desires that we pursue him, because somehow, even in the midst of our mistakes, he can still create something beautiful.

2. The last thing on my mind was something my Mimi used to say, “It will
never be noticed on a galloping horse.”

She would say this when the part on our hair, back in the days of pigtails, wasn’t entirely straight, or there was a small spot on our clothes. She meant that if you are moving fast enough no one will notice the flaws, but the trick is you have to keep moving.

So I kept painting, even when the line wasn’t as sharp or crisp as I would like. I just kept painting and reminding myself that my wobbles wouldn’t be noticed as Ty cruises down the highway. (I tried to forget about the parking lots).

And in a way this is also appropriate for this season. Sure we are going to make some mistakes, it is unavoidable, we are human after all and we are going to be doing new and unfamiliar things. But I think my grandmother’s wisdom applies here too, if we just keep going, pushing ahead our mistakes will not be what people notice about us – at least not at first.

In some ways these two thoughts balance each other. They keep either perspective from stealing center stage. As representatives of an amazing God, we need to be careful and alert so as not to make mistakes. I can think of nothing more appalling than I might in some ways misrepresent my King. It humbles me that he would allow someone so prone to mistakes to speak in his name, and it terrifies me to think that any mistakes we could make with Pagus will be so publicly on display. But I don’t think that this type of fear is a bad thing. I believe it is the only right and fitting response to the magnitude of the subject.

However, on its own, that thought could paralyze us into inaction. We could be tempted to justify not trying as humility, but that is not what we were called to either. We were called to share the message of the cross with a dying world, bind up the wounded and feed the hungry. We can’t do that if our false humility is making us cowards. So we will keep moving, pushing on, traveling roads we did not know before, and hopefully people will see not our mistakes but our passion, our dream, and the God who gave it to us. Maybe if we don’t stop, if we keep forging ahead, there won’t be a chance for them to notice our foibles, maybe they will just see Him.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Sadly, the Pagus-mobile is no more. First Ty learned that house paint blows right off a car in a thunderstorm. Second, the car completely gave up the ghost and was sold for scrap.

May we all observe a brief moment of silence for the Pagus-mobile.