The title of today’s drawing is, “Umbrella Man.” There are some who view God as the umbrella man. You know the guy who is going to cover your head so the rain doesn’t get to you. Isaiah 4:6 does say that God will provide,”a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.” I however have learned over the years there are times when God lets the rain wash over us because He wants us to learn something from the trials or troubles in which we are embroiled. I have grown stronger in my faith through the trials I have had in my life, diabetes, cancer, deaths in the family. Each one has given me more wisdom and prepared for what is yet to come in my life. I have also lived through the times when God returned the umbrella and stopped before it became to much for me to bear. Still I must say no matter the weather condition I am living under I will put my faith In God and live my days with joy in my heart.
I just read a daily devotion about the sequoia tree and how there enormous root system anchor the tall trees so they do not topple over during a wind storm. On the flip side are trees like the pine trees in my back yard. Their root system is not as deeply rooted into the ground so when the rains and high winds come I worry about the trees toppling over. The Bible says in Proverbs 12:3, that, ” the root of the righteous will never be moved.” In our lives our faith must be rooted like the sequoia tree so when the winds and the rain buffet our lives we will not be shaken or toppled over like the pine tree. It also comes without saying the roots we build with our church families must also be deep so when we need support they are there for us. The title of today’s drawing is of course, “The Deeply Rooted Tree.”
Over the course of my lifetime I have had various occupations. I have worked as retail managers, in factories and currently in a local school district. As I look back at my various jobs I think the worst place I ever was employed worked was at a fast food restaurant. I only worked there for one year but I learned a lot about dealing with irate customers as well as employees who don’t take there job seriously. You haven’t lived until you try to calm down an irate customer because of an unwanted piece of cheese or a couple of misplaced pickles on a sandwich you didn’t have anything to do with creating.
Still I look back at these times and realize how much they prepared me for later positions I have had in life. In all of life we need to look at our current employment, or training (as in sports) and think about about how much we are being prepared for what comes next in life. So take the time to prepare yourself by working hard to learn and grow. It will pay off later in life.
If your life is like mine there are periods of time when life feels anything but joyful. Still God calls us in James 1:2 to, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” This means no matter what happens in life we are to call it joyful. Really? God says, yes. If you have an illness don’t dwell on it but look to God to give you comfort and peace throughout the trial. My joy and your joy comes from knowing God is always there for us and as 2 Corinthians 1:4 insures us God is the one, “who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Our joy in life comes from helping others who are going get through the same storms we are weathering. It is hard to look for joy in times of trouble or sorrow but it can be found when your heart is in the right place.
We live in a world which is linked electronically like never before. Young people interact today through tweets, texts, Instagram posts, Face Time chats a few among many choices. Still my favorite way to talk to someone is person to person. Ask my wife she’ll tell you I don’t even like to make phone calls. I have always loved to talk face to face. There is nothing more thrilling than to share a few words or laugh with someone else. To gaze across and sense the other person’s emotions through facial expressions as we talk. This is true conversation. Not a tweet or a text or whatever. God created us to be social beings who rely on fellowship with each in order to live a balanced life. It is time to put down the phones and start talking – face to face.
Since my drawing a couple of days ago was the beach I returned today with my little girl and cat at the boardwalk. Growing up I lived forty five minutes from Seaside Park, NJ so I spent some time on the boardwalk. My favorite time to be there was in September when the crowds were gone but the shops and arcades were still open. These were the days before we became recluses playing our games in the phone or a gaming system. I loved the sounds of the arcade, bells clanging, coins going in the slots and much more.I miss those days. Today when I go to the boardwalk in just doesn’t have the same appeal. It is overcrowded and overpriced. In life I guess we must always hold onto our memories because just like everything else they may fade with the passing of time.
One thing I like about being an artist is when my pencil goes to paper what was one a fantasy in my mind suddenly takes shape. Truthfully it almost never comes out as I envision the piece. Another thing I like about art is the ability to create something out of this world in the true fantasy realm like today’s drawing. “Little Fairy in the Woods.” This is not a finished piece because I am just now working out the details of turning something I can see in my mind into a real image. I have cartooned before but creating a more detailed image is harder. Well I have a half a year to go.
While on on the subject of fantasy. I hear from many about the fantasy world of Heaven. When I hear people speak that way I am saddened. Heaven is not a fantasy. It is a reality and some day when I face to face with Jesus I will be both awe struck, a little fearful but filled with joy when I hear the words, “Welcome good and faithful servant.” So look to fantasy and whim to create your art but remember Heaven is for real and hopefully someday I will meet up with other artist and we can have a wonderful time creating and worshiping together.