So I try. Really hard. Because I want it. Really bad.
I experiment, I Google things, I research it. I spend an ungodly number of hours reading, observing, and trying over and over and over.
I used to hate that I never had anyone to teach me what I wanted to be able to do. It's frustrating. Discouraging. Sometimes I feel like it's not worth it. Too much to tackle. Like I'm on my own. I've never had close friends or teachers that help me, guide me, & enable me to get better at whatever artistic endeavor I've got my hands in.
But over the years, I have started to see it as a gift. I am slowly perfecting the art of teaching myself.
We live in a world that admires "the self-taught" above everything else. "You TAUGHT yourself?" It's the ultimate compliment.
People look at someone who learned something on their own and ask, "HOW did you teach yourself that?"
How? Because they fully believed they could throw themselves into it and eventually figure it out.
Anyone who has learned anything on their own knows how frustrating it can be to be "self-taught." To spend 10 solid hours on something little and stupid, because you can't get to the next part until you figure it out. "If only I could just take a class on this." "If only I could just ask someone and get the answer."
But everyone who has spent 10 hours on something little and stupid also knows that they will never forget what they learned.
And it becomes permanent to them. It becomes what they understand, not just know.
What they are capable of, not just what they replicated.
In a way, it becomes part of their identity.
It becomes worth it.
I like to think that God's primary characteristic is an artist. Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning, God created."
When we were created in his image, we were created with the innate ability to create and initiate on our own. More than that - the desire was embedded into our heart. We can initiate change; we are active, not passive creatures.
Last week I was asked, "how do I get a relationship with God like yours?" A few days ago, "how did you get past everything that happened to you?" And in the last 24 hours, several people who don't know how to pray or hear from God have crossed paths with me.
And everyone wants to be taught. Because in the moment, that seems impossible.
We all want to be "able," immediately.
We feel utterly directionless before we take the first step. We think we don't even know where to begin. We base our potential options off of failed actions in the past. "I tried that for like three years, it never worked." "I can't just....do that."
And so we decide, "I can't." Until someone comes along to teach us.
But what we're always forgetting is that God created us with the ability. God designed you with the ability to create. God MADE to have a relationship with him. The relationship you see other people having with him. God created you with everything you need to get past what happened to you. He designed your heart and soul explicitly for the purpose of communicating with God - sharing yourself with Him, and He sharing himself with you.
What we are forgetting is that God created us.
And just like everything else, a relationship with God is simple, but not easy.
You were born with the ability to have the relationship with Him that you want but don't know how to get. Believe it.
You were born with the ability to speak to a God you cannot see. Believe it.
You were born with the ability to overcome everything that has happened to you. Believe it.
You are able to chase God with everything you have, no matter what. Believe that in the end, it will be worth it.
Because it is when you doubt the possibility that you lose the ability.
If I didn't believe I could figure out how to use a camera, I never would have become a photographer.
If I didn't believe I could find the answer to my stupid broken code problem somewhere on Google, I would have stopped looking & never designed anything.
If I didn't believe that I could mess with paints enough to finally get it to do what I wanted, I would never create anything.
You must believe before you try.
If I didn't believe God would answer me, I would stop talking to him.
If I didn't believe God would love me the way I needed to feel love, I would have never asked him for it.
So, this is my encouragement to believe. And to try. To try hard.
Choose to believe. To experiment. To run, and fall. Climb, and slip. Mix things together, and find that they don't work. But slowly we get the answers, piece by piece. We master the next step, eventually.
And before you know it, you will have created. You will understand, not just know. You will have the relationship with God that you didn't have last month, last year, ten years ago.
Because you will have tried all the wrong ways - and it was hard - until you found that you could obtain what looked out of reach.
Because you were created by God. In His image.
"You will seek me & find me when you seek me with ALL your heart." Jeremiah 29:13
It is written: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father & learns from him comes to me. John 6:45
No longer will a man teach his neighbor saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. Jeremiah 31:34
"I will put my law in their minds & write it on their hearts. I will be their God, & they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33