The Muralist


The Tao says “The muralist sets his picture one centimeter at a time.”

The muralist knows that the big picture is and has enough concentration to piece each individual tile to create his enormous tableau.

If we look at our lives as a muralist would, we recognize that we are the individual pieces; we are part of the grand tableau of God, our muralist. God knows the big picture and where we fit into His enormous tableau. What an interesting and perplexing thought. I have meditated on this for several weeks now and find it difficult to comprehend the importance of this idea. We ask the questions of how we fit into the big picture; how important are we to the giant tableau; and, why me. All of these are important and perplexing issues; ones that we are not truly ready to meditate on and accept our meaning in the world, in God’s world. And yet, like each, individual tile in the muralists creation, we are important. If we are out of place for the muralist, we can destroy his tableau. Is it just as important that we are an integral part of God’s universal mural?

Remember, only God knows what the final, enormous creation means and is. We must find our proper place to fulfill our place.

Okay, say we, but what if what we are doing is not what God wants, is not the place that God chose for us. Will that mess up God’s mural. The only answer I have, which is truly my creation, is this: Are you happy with your position in life? If you are, then perhaps you are where God wants you. If you are unhappy, then maybe you need to look at yourself and ask many, many questions.

Let me tell you my story. For many years, I was in my own business; actually, it began as my parents’ business, but I changed it dramatically over time. I thought that I was the luckiest man on earth to be doing what I was doing. I was my own boss. I was a successful small businessman, respected for my position in the community. I was absolutely miserable!!! I both knew it and didn’t know it. How can that be possible?

In November 1985, I was rear-ended by a drunk driver and driven under the wheels of a very large truck. I was out of work for most of the next five years; my business was a shambles. When I finally returned to work, I struggled to put the pieces back together, but it proved impossible and in 1994, I ended the agony.

During this time, I was serving as chairperson for the booster club at my children’s high school. One night, the athletic director announce that the swim team coach just quit. My son was to be captain of the team that year. Fortunately, I had been involved in swimming with the local YMCA and was able to step in to keep the team alive while we searched for a coach. At the end of the season, the AD asked if I would stay on as the coach. Over the next three years, I worked with the team and we were blessed to compete in the state championship; we lost!! Suring the wrap-up of the season, the principal of the high school talked with me and said that I would be a good teacher in the high school and was I interested in working for a masters’ degree. To make a very long story a little shorter, I ended up being a high school history teacher, who went onto get a doctorate degree in contemporary literature and I am now teaching English writing in a local community college.

I am the happiness person in the world. When I was a businessman, I was not in the proper position in God’s mural; as a college professor, I am.



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