by William Worrell
Pablo Picasso once said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” After having executed tens of thousands of art works, he became the most famous artist of the 20th century. His productivity was unmatched. Having established his mastery of traditional art, he set out and executed groundbreaking abstract paintings such as “Guemica”
But first, lets drop back for a moment. While preparing for this article, I was directed to research the word “enemy” And the more I read, the answer emerged: Routine is the enemy of art. Routine is the status quo. Routine is the traditional. Routine is the norm. Routine is stale. Routine is the set boundary. However, art is the new. Art is fresh. Art is that which shatters the norm. And with this in mind, we can hear the words of Picasso echoing “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist!”
As children, we learned to color inside the lines, sometimes tracing the borders and then shading the space within—obediently adhering to the established boundaries. Paul Johansson—friend today yet Dean of Students years ago at Elim Bible Institute—once regaled me with a story regarding his children. While living in New York City, they lived adjacent to alleyways. Which could prove quite dangerous. Therefore, he told the kids they could play anywhere except in the alleyways. And to reince his directive, he took a big thick piece of chalk and drew a rather large line creating a boundary to where they could play and could not play. And one day he came home to find them playing: right on top of the boundary line. In this case, it was good they didn’t cross the line!
As adults, many of us find ourselves doing this. We play it safe and never veer away from the original plan. Yet life is a mix set of rules and limitless possibilities. We grow by knowing when to respect boundaries and when to reach beyond them.
At one time, it was said that man would never fly. Enter the Wright brothers. And man was flying. Later, the status quo said man would never fly faster than sound. Chuck Yeager in Glamorous Glennis shattered the sound barrier. Finally, it was said we would never leave our planet. And Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Yet these Americans were not the first to defy gravity. For 2000 years ago, The Lord Jesus came walking on water to his disciples. And one of them braved the status quo to also defy gravity—and walked on the water—if only for a short time.
Years before the Lord Jesus arrived on the scene, another individual braved and confronted the status quo: Noah. Imagine being instructed to build a ship—not a boat—a ship. And to build it in a land locked area. Imagine the ridicule he endured. Imagine his being asked why he was building it. Then imagine his dread of the only answer: A flood is coming. Yet I can also imagine Noah answering with a question of his own: “How well can you tread water?”
On another occasion, we see Father God operating outside the box again. The scene is a wedding in Cana in Galilee. Jesus mother was there. Jesus and His disciples were guest too. When they began running low on wine, Jesus mother told Jesus, “They’re just about out of wine!” And as we all know, Jesus answered with “ Is that any of our business, Mother—yours or mine? This isn’t my time yet.”
Yet as mothers are known to do, she went ahead anyway and told the servants, “Whatever He tells you, do it” And being the obedient and honorable son, he acted.
There were six stoneware pots nearby. Each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus ordered the servants to fill the pots with water. And they filled them to the brim.
“Now fill your pitchers and take them to the host,” Jesus said…and they did.
And the host tasted the water that had become wine and declared this bridegroom had saved the best wine til last.
The Word declares that Jesus learned and grew in wisdom and favor—just as we are growing. Yet he said that we would do greater works than He did. Which brings us back to where we began.
We grow by knowing when to respect boundaries and when to reach beyond them. The key is not to let boundaries automatically hold us back. This week, don’t restrict yourself. Don’t be afraid to push beyond those borders and create your own masterpiece. So stop being reserved. Stop playing it safe. Remember this: WHEN YOU BREAK THE BOUNDARIES OF THE POSSIBLE, YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!