Friday, August 26, 2011

When You Turn Your Head To The Left

In the last 8 years I have come to have this fondness for Public Television. One of my favorite programs is the Antiques Road Show. I watch through all of the stuff that I would normally consider junk if I saw it in a yard sale, flea market, or second hand store and I learn some things and what to look for which could be absolute treasure. My family and I have actually cringed at the things we have seen and knew we had at one time or another and have thrown it away calling ourselves keeping free from hoarding (pack rat-itis).

I still think about the time where I drove for about 45 minutes to this out of the way second hand store just to see what they had. It is one of the reasons why I don't like window shopping to this day. I had a shopping cart, I think just in case I saw something and the clerk could possibly hold the item for me so I could go ask a family member for the money to purchase it (another thing I don't like to do). As I looked around, I didn't see anything I particularly liked and was about to leave as I made my way through the rows and rows of discarded framed art. I saw these two men with a painting, they were discussing if it was real or not and if they should purchase it. Having some education in the field I tried not to look so conspicuous in seeing who signed the piece. It was a Picasso! Holding back a shriek because the signature looked authentic to me, I walked away believing if it is mine to have, God was going to make a way. I had to take a deep breathe and believe to receive as I prayed looking at the picture frames not too far from where the two men were. They left and also left the painting behind. I quickly went to the art and picked up the painting. It wasn't a print. I could feel the brush strokes of the oil painting and the frame looked as if it were crudely made. The front of it looked like some French Provencal design while the back looked as if pieced together with pine board and tacked with entirely too many nails. Even the canvas wasn't stretched very tight across the frame, but I was almost positive the signature was real. I looked at the price of the piece. It was $10.00. I don't recall if I had that amount, I do recall needing gas to make it back home and having both was out of the question. I kept looking at it and right when I was about to put it back, those two men saw me with the painting and started mumbling to themselves. I kept the painting in my cart and walked around the store not knowing what I was going to do. After 30 minutes, I talked myself in believing that Pablo Picasso wouldn't have such a frame as this for his artwork. I put the painting back and forced myself to stop thinking about the matter.

Well, of course I saw on the Antiques Road Show later how the paintings of back then looked one way in the front and as if a third grader put it together in the back. I just couldn't settle on that I had to do my own research. In all of my education, I just couldn't recall Picasso ever painting any scenery. I was at the ready about to look up all of the painting recorded of Picasso...and I stopped. I just couldn't. What if I find it? It took about a year before I could actually do it. Pages and pages, website after website and still  no scenery painting from him. Just when I was about to move on, there it was. Looking back at me in a wall of cubism and abstracts. It was a small thumbnail (tiny display), so there was just a slight glimmer that it might not be an actual...authentic... yeah, right! Don't ask of my demeanor then and for days after. Aaaarrrrggggghhhhhhhh [eye twitch]!

Recently, I was looking at the very same show and saw a woman going to the professional curator to tell her of her treasure and the approximation of what it was worth. Her husband was socking money away for their anniversary. According to her, it was the plan for them to celebrate those years in Italy. While they were shopping and just before leaving for their trip, they came upon this rather horrendous table clock. It was cherry wood with gold painted scroll work around the edges of it. Their son was with them and convinced his mother to use the anniversary money to purchase the clock. He said that if she decided to go on the trip, once it was over - its over but if she purchased the clock, she would have it forever. So she took the $7,000.00 dollars and bought the horrendous clock. As she finished the story, you could tell that she believed she made a sound investment and was waiting for the curator to tell her that the clock was worth so much more then she paid for it. She was literally beaming right up until he told her to get the clock insured for ..... $7,000.00. She tried her best to maintain that smile but she knew as well as anyone watching that she no longer had the Italy trip nor did she have that sound investment she thought she had. If I were her son, I would have packed and left before she got back home!

I asked God, how could the enemy ever get in my camp to take what belongs to me? I have the whole armor on (Ephesians 6:11 KJV). I have the garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3 KJV). I have the blood of the lamb (1 Peter 1:18-20 KJV). I am anointed. I am the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. I sought Kingdom Living (Matthew 6:33 KJV). How then, how did he get permission to take anything from me and without me knowing it (Ephesians 4:27 KJV)? It is one of the most frustrating aspects of Christian Life to me.

I was reminded of one of those times after prayer where I sit quietly in His presence (Psalm 16:11 AMP). As I sat on my bed, the morning sun shone through the curtains and one of the beams landed on the floor where it just sparkled and caught my attention. The sparkle continued to dance until I got up to see what it was. I picked it up and thought it was a rhinestone at first but the cut was too specific and a rhinestone usually has a glued metal backing. I then did what most of us would do and bite it. I have no idea what that would prove. If my tooth chipped it has to be real? I took a mirror and used that test. Yes, it cut the glass. Ecstatic to have been given such a jewel, I made my way to a jeweler to see if it were truly authentic. The jeweler looked at the stone and I did not take my eyes off of him, thinking he might do some slight of hand trick or drop and pick up a cut piece of plastic. He picked up some electrical device and put the stone in it. The device made a ping noise. He then said, "oh well. That sound tells me its not real. Sorry, but hey, if you are still interested, I could put it in a setting for you." I thought that was an odd thing for a jeweler to say if the stone was a fake. Why would I want a fake in a setting? I thanked him for his time, wrapped up my stone and left the store. Still pleased with what the Lord gave me, I waited for sound instruction (Hosea 4:6 AMP).

Once we have established that we are anointed in Christ Jesus and we have a calling on our lives, we maintain this focus until the goal has been complete. We don't find that what we are talented in and not seek Wisdom on the matter (James 1:5 AMP). This would be foolish; however, also having the wisdom and education and still not relying on the voice of the Lord, is still just as foolish. It is much like a pastor, speaker, evangelist, and or prophet, gaining so much from the Lord with the praise of the listeners from one speaking engagement to the next and then he/she decides that with the next engagement, instead of praying and studying like he/she has done in the past and successfully so, he/she decides to "wing it" or speak from what is already known. The outcome might be taken in well enough but it will never be as powerful as those times when God was acknowledged first (Proverbs 3:6 KJV). When we think we can manage the task at hand on our own, it is giving the enemy permission to have place for him to do his job (John 10:10 KJV). It takes sometime to realize when the talent is being pilfered away; though the listeners are noticing a difference. Don't ever take the chance to think that the success you have been experiencing is because of you. Remember it is the diligent that reap the reward (Hebrews 11:6 KJV).

The woman who spent her anniversary money on a clock that wasn't worth what she spent took the advice of her son who nothing more about antiques then she did (Proverbs 15:22 KJV). she didn't ask the clerk to hold the piece for her until she did some research or brought anyone else to see what she was considering to purchase. Worse yet, she didn't mention at all of saying a word to her husband. He was the one saving the money to go somewhere that they both had dreamed about. She turned her head to the left and what she thought she saw was fool's gold (Proverbs 4:26-27 KJV).

I, on the other hand, decided I wanted to go to that store. I recalled passing by one day but I was not the one driving. The driver didn't want to stop so I was going to make it back there one way or another.  I didn't acknowledge God in my decision to do so, I just felt like going. I knew what I had in my pocket and what the gas tank looked like. There was no reason for me to go to that store but to do something that I don't like doing anyway - browse (Proverbs 10:22 KJV). When I asked God why did He allow me to see something like that and not be able to buy it, I didn't get an answer right away. Why would He answer me now when I didn't ask Him about going there and making that way plain for me? You see how I turned my head to the left and  found a treasure I couldn't take out of the least not without establishing a criminal record (Joshua 1:7 KJV). Lesson learned.

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