Living Life – Paint Away!


One afternoon in my “Ministry To and With Adults” class at George Fox Seminary, a fellow student was showing us some group exercises we could use by actually having us do them. One of these “ice-breakers” was a rotational discussion. We were in two rows of facing chairs with three questions on the board. When you moved to the next chair, your partner picked a question to ask you and you got to answer for three uninterrupted minutes. At one point in the exercise, I was seated across from our professor and before asking me her chosen question, she tweaked it a little into, “If you died tomorrow, what would regret not having done?” My answer surprised me but right out of my mouth bounded the reply, “Painting. I would regret not having painted.” My answer haunted me. It was one of those unfiltered answers I know came from a deep place I still wanted to explore. So, in typical Sarah fashion, I went out and bought a set of acrylic paints, a table easel, some paintbrushes, and a book. No time like the present! Though a small group in another class was keeping me accountable to paint as one of my goals for the term, I only did a bit of it. I like to do things when they have a purpose behind them, something I will do with the art I create.

Since I have been getting into watercolors lately, my acrylics hadn’t been taken out for some time until I thought of a gift for my friend’s birthday. After much thought, I made some blank cards for her out of my photography portfolio. Then I thought it would be fun to paint a box for them to go into. Remembering I had a book on this topic, “Acrylic Decorative Painting”, I pulled it out and started reading. The author told me all kinds of things about sealant, finish, brushstrokes, and painting techniques. I was in seventh heaven and I’m still only half-way through! For a few days, I slowly added one layer after another to this blank wooden box, using new techniques I had learned the night before.

Though a beginner’s piece, I cannot tell you how much fun I had painting it! It looks far better than what I would have expected of myself and the result pleased me. I am now really excited to paint some more and to see how much I can learn from my other books. (I have several on painting now.)

So let me ask you what my professor asked me. “If you died tomorrow, what would you regret not having done?” Now go do that thing or start working towards it. Don’t put it off. Life can go quickly, don’t waste this most precious of gifts. Live your life, really live it-whatever that means for you. No matter what.

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