In Florence, Italy stands one of the treasures of the art world that has been admired by thousands of visitors. It is the marble statue of King David carved by Michael Angelo. The shepherd boy stands firm and grasped tightly in his right hand is a stone, ready to be unleashed onward towards its target. When the statue was first unveiled, over four hundred years ago it created quite a sensation in the art world as it still does to this day.
But the strange part of the story of the statue was that it was the stone’s second chance. Years before Michael Angelo began his work carving on this piece of marble another sculptor began to work on this very piece of stone, but, lacking skill, he only marred the block. It was then abandoned as being worthless, and was cast aside. For years it lay in a back yard, soiled and blackened by the weather, half hidden among the piles of rubbish.
But at last Angelo saw it, and at once perceived within the stone the possibilities it held within. Under his skilful hand the stone was cut into the marvelous beauty, which we now see as being the statue of David. Yet it is said that the completed work is not quite perfect; that because of the first cutting of the stone the final result is marred.
“Every Man’s Life is a Plan of God”
A beautiful life is one that fulfills its mission. We have within us divine possibilities, and we should all come to realize the beauty that is folded up within our lives. The meaning of the root word for ‘sin’ is, missing the mark. The aim is to keep God’s commandments, to do God’s will, to realize God’s purpose. When we miss the mark the beauty of our life becomes marred.
We have all heard of the word ‘transgression’, it means stepping out of the path, over the boundary, not walking as God directs, failing to live according to His divine plan and pattern. It is as if an architect were to make a plan for a perfect building, and the builder, through ignorance or carelessness, should spoil the house, not making it like the plan. The building is not beautiful when finished, because it is not what the architect intended it to be. A life, which fulfills God’s purpose, whether it is great or seemingly undistinguished, is beautiful. We need not to seek to do grand things, for the greatest thing for any human life in this world is God’s will for that life. That is the only true beauty.
Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” NIV
Maybe you know of someone whose life has been spoiled by the folly of a life lived for self or perhaps the unfairness of life has marred it so that it would seem as if all were lost. There is one, the great Sculptor, who can take the marred, disfigured block, now lying soiled amid the world’s rubbish, and from it carve yet a marvel of beauty. Though it may not be what it once could have been, it still can produce a very beautiful character.
“Secrets to a Beautiful Life”
Many people let themselves be defeated almost habitually. It began for most of us in childhood. The lessons of life are hard and not easily mastered. It costs to succeed and many a person concludes that they cannot win so they do not do their best. Thus at the very beginning the battle is lost, and often times all life afterward carries the effects of a defeated attitude. It seems like the lessons are always too hard, discipline becomes too costly and the slothfulness of youth leads one down the path of ease.
On the other hand, when the lesson of being steadfast is learned in childhood, all becomes different. Studies are mastered and by being diligent lessons are learned till perfection is found. Later in life when the lessons are harder, the discipline is burdensome, the tasks require more labor, and the battles test the soul to its last particle of strength, the habit of overcoming still prevails and the life is ever the more victorious. Then the thought of submitting to the status quo of a so-so life is never entertained for a moment.
Proverbs 4:123-27, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” NIV
The lessons learned in leading a victorious life is one of the secrets of a beautiful life. Come what may, we are not overcome by the circumstances of this world. If nothing hurts us, all things then become beneficial to us. The common trials of life build themselves into a ladder, which we climb step by step upwards nearer to God.
It is a blessed secret to learn how to live by the day. Anyone can carry his burden, however heavy it may be, till nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard it may be, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, quietly, patiently, lovingly, and purely till the sun sets in the western sky. And this is all that life really ever requires of us—just one little day. “Do today’s duty, fight today’s temptation, and do not weaken and distract yourself by looking forward to things you cannot see and cannot understand till you stand face to face before them.” God gives us nights to shut down the curtain of darkness on our little days. We cannot see beyond, and we ought not to try to see beyond. Short horizons make life easier, and give us one of the blessed secrets to a brave, true, and holy life.
We can live our life only once. We cannot go over it again to correct its mistakes or amend its faults. We ought therefore to live it well. And to do this we must begin at the beginning, and make every day radiant as it passes. Lost days must always remain blanks in the records, and stained days must carry their stains. Beautiful days make beautiful years, and beautiful years make a beautiful life at its close.
Isaiah 52:12, “You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.” Message
God looks upon a human life, which bears His image this way. The smallest fragment of life He regards as sacred. So long as there is the least trace of Divine possibility in a human soul, He is ready to make something out of it, to take it out of the mire and give it another chance. If, therefore, one has lost the opportunity to realize God’s first thought for his life, there still remains another chance. “Though it may not be what it once could have been, the Master still can produce a very beautiful character out of it.”