Early in my marriage, we listened to talks from LDS speakers on cassette tapes. (Anyone else remember those?) One of our favorite speakers was George Durrant. I especially loved the one called “Look to the Sky” where he shared an experience he had in an art class. He had to present his painting to the class for critique.
The first person who spoke up was a young woman, “I like how George painted the sky.” A wave of relief washed over George and he looked at the sky and agreed with his classmate, it was good.
Then a second person said, “Yeah, but the foreground is all messed up.”
With his typical humor, George thought, “Why can’t you just look at the sky.”
There are so many lessons in this short little story!
- We all have our skies – the things we are good at.
- We all have our foregrounds – things where we have room for improvement.
- There will be people who notice what we do right.
- There will be people who point out what, when and where we messed up. These voices always seem the loudest to me.
- We need to surround ourselves with good friends, those who encourage us.
- George was in a class, striving to improve. We need to be constantly learning and improving.
- Listen to the voices and access if there is any merit in their statements. Our critics can have lessons to teach, and our cheerleaders sometimes have their own motives.
- The trick is to balance our focus on the areas we excel, while continuing to work on the areas that need improvement.
It’s interesting how some of the most powerful lessons come from seemingly small experiences. So where are you looking today?