I suppose there are instructors and mentors in all our pasts that said or did things that left lasting impressions on our minds and lives.
So if you put together last week's blog title with this week's blog title, you'll have a favorite quip from my art instructor from way back at what used to be Atlanta Area Technical School ... Robert Lane. It was a Commercial Art course ... what we call graphic art now.
We'd come into class and Mr. Lane would give us our assignment. We'd all groan, It's too hard!
And he'd always reply, If it was easy, anybody could do it!
I think Mr. Lane was right, because out of the 30 or so students in the class, only two of us - myself and another guy - actually ended up in working in the graphic art field.
Now, were the two of us just so much more brilliant and talented than the other 28 students? Or maybe more dedicated? More hard working? No ... we were probably just more into it. And the the more into we got into it, the more involved it got, and the more interested we got. And the more the others learned, the more involved it got and the less interested they got.
Especially in pre-computer days when everything had to be done by hand. It was very precise work and could get tedious: cutting rubylith overlays, drawing out paste up boards with blue pencil, marking up type, lining up type with T-squares and triangles. I absolutely loved it. But it was tedious and if you didn't love it, it was something that could get old fast.
"Art" implies fun all day ... hence my disappointing high school art class, full of seniors trying to get an easy credit. It made for a bad experience for the students (me!) who wanted to learn. I'm so glad I didn't allow it to dissuade me. I really doubt that any of those seniors are artists today. And I suppose the other 28 in Mr. Lane's class also decided that wasn't what they wanted to do for the next 30 years. I hope they found something they liked better.
But it taught me a valuable lesson ... never underestimate what others do for a living.
We're probably all guilty of looking at someone else's work or job and thinking, I could do that better.
Maybe ... maybe not. Maybe if anybody could do it, they wouldn't be doing it.
And if anybody could do what God created you and me to do, we probably wouldn't even be here.
And just maybe, if we don't get about the tasks we've been assigned to, they will go undone and we and our world will be left lacking in some way. That would be a tragedy.
Sometimes our work can get hard or tedious. Perhaps we don't get the recognition we think we've earned. And there will be times when it would be so very easy to just give up.
Let me tell you a story my pastor told me last year ... he was surprised that I had never heard it ... perhaps you have ...
A man was talking to God one day. God told the man He had a special job He wanted the man to do. He showed the man a huge boulder and told him that every day He wanted the man to go and push against the boulder with all of his strength and try to move it. It was obviously an impossible task, but the man obeyed. Every day he went out and pushed against the boulder as hard as he could, trying to move it. And every day, the boulder didn't move.
This went on for years, until one day the man went to God and said, "Lord, forgive me, I have failed. Everyday for all these years I have pushed against this boulder like You asked. And no matter how hard or how long I push, it has never moved even a little. I have failed."
God replied, "Son, I never asked you to move the boulder. Just to push against it and try to move it. Look at your arms, your legs, your back. See how your muscles have grown! That was the purpose ... to make you stronger and more able. You have not failed! You obeyed and this is result of your obedience!"
Keep pushing forward. Never give up. No matter how hard, tedious or thankless it gets.
Because if it was easy, anybody could do it!