Did you ever have a class that frustrated you in school? How about a particular teacher? Maybe their view on things differed from yours. Or maybe their treatment of a certain subject or student really got on your nerves.
If you’re like me, those memories have lingered with you.
One of my most frustrating seasons during high school was in art class. Now mind you, I loved art. And I really had a soft spot for all of my art teachers. Even the crazies. (I know you had a few, too). But it wasn’t art class itself that bothered me. It was subjective versus objective analysis that did.
I was a late bloomer in math. But once I bloomed, I was a straight “A” student. Unusual for a right-brained kid. And when the teacher graded the tests, a problem was either solved correctly, or it wasn’t. But in art, the grading seemed very subjective. I remember getting incredibly frustrated when my teacher would give one student a fabulous mark on a piece that I thought was “all right,” while the student who produced something truly exceptional was handed a “C.”
That’s because art, in its most simple form, is subjective.
Yeah, I know a particular teaching (and resulting assignment) can focus on a specific rule or technique. Rule of thirds. Pointillism. Contrast. Minimalism. But at the end of the day, art, unlike math, has no right answers. It simply is. And so the very notion that a teacher could pass or fail a student by what simply is drove me bonkers. Later on I would learn that my art teachers graded very much like God does, but not nearly as well.
Most of us want God to grade life like math. Right or wrong. Pass or fail. Black or white. I want God to be fair. For bad people to get what they deserve, and good people more so. The only problem is that God is not fair.
But He is just.
Justice is doing the right thing for the right person at the right time. And the only person who ever knows that perfectly is the Holy Spirit. The inherent human problem with administering justice, unlike the Holy Spirit, is that we’re not very good at delivering it. Because we never have all the information all the time, now matter how much we think we do. But God always does.
The wall art hanging around my house is a perfect example of this.
The crumpled, ripped, and drooled on papers lining the refrigerator doors and walls of my house would last about 5 seconds under the scrutiny of any art museum curator. “Cute” is about all I’d get. That’s fair. But it’s not just. Because the museum curator has no idea that they were made by my kids, and as a result, have incredible intrinsic value. To me.
Regardless of what the world perceives, from your motives to your efforts to your productivity, they will always have limited information. Always. There is an all-seeing God, however, who doesn’t miss a beat. He sees it all, and He knows you. You’re offering Him your time, your talent, your treasure. From your marriage to your attitude with your boss, He knows. And trust me, whatever you’re offering to Him, no matter what the world’s standards are, it means the world to Him.
And it’s hanging on His fridge right now. ch: