I am blessed to have some truly talented friends. One of them, Christy, is a water colour artist; I’ve known her for over 10 years. In the past little while she has been able to focus more and more on her art and the results have been truly astonishing. Not only the pieces beautiful, they also reflect a maturity to her skills that almost make the process transparent. Looking at her paintings makes me feel that the images come directly from her soul, almost bypassing thought and physical effort. The result is more than pretty pictures; it’s a series of creations that speak beauty and joy directly to the viewers soul, almost bypassing sight and thought.
That’s one of the blessings of growing and maturing. As we progress in age and the miles start accumulating, we build and refine our inherent gifts and talents. Lessons aren’t just learned, they are absorbed and ingrained into our natural rhythms and routines. Muscle memory becomes deeply imprinted so that complex tasks become automatic, allowing more time to be spent on creating rather than doing. For an artist like Christy, it means that what she envisions can be executed with far more attention to detail than simply getting the task done.
The ability for us to grow and mature into our giftedness is a gift in and of itself. It is a blessing that we can refine what we enjoy doing and comes naturally to us, enabling us to be more effective with less effort, and to be able to enjoy the task at hand. When the painter has to focus on individual brush strokes or the singer on breath control, they cannot do the whole painting or song the justice it deserves. Only as the mechanics of their craft become ingrained can they truly create beautiful works of art.
Maturity is not an end goal. It does not come only near the end of an artist’s career. It is present as soon as their actions require less thought and they can concentrate more on what they’re producing rather than the act of production. Maturing is itself a process, one that continually improves one’s ability to create art or to do whatever one’s gifts might be.
Maturity is a gift from God that we all share. It brings about something “other” to our giftedness. It allows those gifts to flow naturally and seamlessly from the depths of our souls so that, in turn, we can touch the souls of others with whatever we have to offer.