Proportion is as Important as Perspective
Painting points out yet another problem I have that begins with the letter P: Proportion. Making sure elements relate rightly to each other and the background is hard work if the composition is to make sense. Sometimes I can get so fascinated with a part, it overshadows the whole.
This deficiency reminds me keeping life in proportion is an ongoing chore, duty and opportunity I’d best keep at! Some, and you know who you are, have described me as a chronic over reactor, a.k.a. drama queen: one who can blow things out of proportion.
Yep . . . it might have something to do with a wee bit of self-centeredness that sprouts up in my garden, even this late in the season of life, as I blow stuff all out of proportion. Fear is the fertilizer with which I can feed this weed – and then I water it with resentment.
Now, I am getting better at spotting it when it sprouts – just as I have gotten better balancing shapes in my painting. But, keeping at both tasks keeps me busy. Understanding just who I am in relation to the universe, keeps the stuff of my daily life right-sized: I just might be even smaller than a grain of sand. (Psalm 8:4) So, too my problems.
A Way to Restore Proportion
Keeping things in proportion is easier when I remember others will write my epitaph – probably in their memories, for a season or two if I am lucky.
Judge Neil Gorsuch, in his round of hearings to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, showed me a way to maintain proportion. He put it this way:
“The great joy in life, Shaw said, is devoting yourself to a cause you deem mighty before you are thrown on the scrap heap,” Gorsuch [said], referencing the famous Irish playwright, critic and polemicist George Bernard Shaw.
“This is the true joy in life — the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy,” Shaw once said.
The Psalmist also reminds me how to keep a grip when life seems to be slipping by me. I hope it strengthens you, too, dear reader:
A Pilgrim Song
God, I’m not trying to rule the roost,
I don’t want to be king of the mountain.
I haven’t meddled where I have no business
or fantasized grandiose plans.
I’ve kept my feet on the ground,
I’ve cultivated a quiet heart.
Like a baby content in its mother’s arms,
my soul is a baby content.
Wait, Israel, for God. Wait with hope.
Hope now; hope always!
(Psalm 131The Message)