This week my wife has been repainting our kitchen and pantry. When she was in college she worked as part of the school’s crack team of painting professionals. She really knows her way around a brush and a can of paint . . . one of the many reasons why I adore her.
After she had completed the task of “cutting-in”—the process of carefully and painstakingly painting all the edges and corners of the walls (the most difficult and time-consuming part of the painting)–she had begun to wash all her equipment. My eyes fell on what looked like a scrap piece of thin plastic 12 inches high and three inches wide. I picked it up, more closely examined it and—thinking it was garbage—was about to throw it away, when my wife quickly stopped me and expertly removed the tool from my hand.
She then proceeded to explain that this was called a painter’s “guide” and was used as a shield for the trim while cutting-in. This shield kept the trim paint from getting on the wall.
She further explained that if trim paint gets on the wall, the painter has to re-paint the affected area thereby needlessly causing more time, energy, and money to be expended on fixing the problem. I thought to myself, man, I should have thought of that. I could have been rich!
In the midst of my selfish contemplations God stepped in and reminded me that He has already given me and you our own “guide” that will enable us to paint our lives right the first time, thereby preventing us unnecessary and painful consequences. Solomon the smartest smarty-pants in all of history went through the trouble of writing it down for all of us so we won’t have any excuses; here’s what he wrote: “Respect and obey the Lord! This is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). Everything in our lives begins and ends with whom we put into the “God-shaped” hole in our hearts. If we recognize that God is who He says He is, then chances are we’ll make choices that reflect that reality; however, in my life and in many others I’ve seen, people have decided that they, someone, or something else, will be placed in that spot . . . and the consequences are always bad.
Make the right decision to recognize God, take Him seriously and let Him fill the “God-shaped” hole in your heart.