I like to have a word for the year. Some sweet thing dropped into my heart that ripples through the year and holds me like an anchor when the tide comes in and the waves begin to crash around my little boat.

The word, my word, for this year is masterpiece.


I’m not much one for making masterpieces – my hems are seldom straight when I sew, and I never quite measure properly when I bake, and for the love of literacy I ought to conquer the common comma… but I don’t.

Masterpiece seems a little pretentious; self-absorbed, prideful even. It’s not that I think I am capable of creating masterpieces… far from that.

This word has grown in me though, swelled and enlarged, since I read this sentence:

Creation then, is not the aftermath of a battle but the plan of a craftsman. God made the world not as a warrior digs a trench but as an artist makes a masterpiece.

Timothy Keller – Every Good Endeavour.

Too often my world, my ‘work’, my doing and being is treated like a warrior digging a trench.

I feed myself a narrative that is filled with the sighing of the small niggles, the mundane requirements, the hard, the tiring, the small. Yet, here I am encountered by a different invitation.

The invitation to work, live, endeavour, strive as an artist who is working on a masterpiece.

I have but one opportunity to pass through this year. One chance at today – at its mundane and its extraordinary – and I can treat them as a trench to dig or a masterpiece to create.

This is my word.

This is my invitation – to partner with the one who makes a masterpiece from dust and words. Who gives honour and beauty to the small and to the great.

This is my challenge – to shift the way I think about the everyday, the painful, the boring.

When I look at the masterpiece makers of the world I am sure that the creation of those masterpieces required a great deal of boring, a great deal of perseverance, a great deal of belief that the masterpiece would come from the application, discipline and doing of the daily work.

Masterpiece is my word for the year. May it skip like a skimmed rock across the waters of my life and ripple out and out and out until I see, and realise, and commit, to being an artist not a trench digger.

Do you have a word for this year? Do you see yourself as an artist in the day-to-day? Do you glory in your ‘work’ as an opportunity to make beauty?

May we all be artists, and may the work and living of 2016 be truly a masterpiece in your life and the life of others. xxx


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