“Ahhhhhhhhhh,” the only woman in the room drew a deep breath as she woke up and opened her eyes. She sat up on the only bench in the room and looked around at all of the blank, white walls. There were no doors or windows, only the bench on which she sat; but it was peaceful.
Before too much time had passed, one of the walls opened like one of those secret passageways you’d expect to find in a house on an old southern plantation. A man in a suit walked in holding a painting. “Rebecca,” he inquired, “Would you look after this and make sure the details are right?”
The woman did not answer, but he hung the painting on one of the walls anyway and left letting the passageway close behind him. Rebecca got up to examine the painting. “This is my family,” she said softly to herself as she wondered what was going on. The details were alluring and so accurate. She enjoyed this painting and spent time examining it and time resting on the bench. Even in this small room, life was delightful.
The painting man entered again with another painting and without saying anything, hung it on the wall and left. Rebecca rose to examine this painting as she did the other. This one was not as enjoyable. The details were hectic and she had trouble making out the cubism. After spending so much time away from her family, she discovered that the work was a portrayal of the university she attended. Needing some rest, she quickly visited her families portrait, noticing less of the fine, beautiful detail and returned to her seat in the middle of the room.
This time she sat for only a few minutes before the man she assumed to be the curator of a gallery entered again with another painting. He hung it on the wall and she recognized it immediately. This was a picture of the man that had proposed to her only three days earlier. He was smart and good-looking; not to mention he had the same values that she did. She didn’t even notice that she had gotten up to spend time at his photograph. Rebecca walked back to school and spent even less time with the portrait of her family.
As she was sitting down this time, the curator brought in three more photos. She didn’t have the time to examine them all regularly, but it seemed so necessary. Career, aspiration, fiancé, school, family all pulled her attention and soon Rebecca forgot about the bench in the middle of the room. Throughout her time in the gallery, the curator continued to hang pictures on the wall and Rebecca continued to try and hold on, making every effort to examine each photo perfectly.
Exhausted, Rebecca became sick and was unable to devote the necessary energy to examining the multiplicity of artwork in the gallery. She fell behind and fatigue caused her to fall to the floor. When she fell, she noticed the bench in the middle of the room. Oh how simple life had been before all of the artwork: when she knew what rest was.
This young woman clawed her way back to the bench because it was her only option and climbed into her seat. What she saw took her breath away. All of the pictures hanging in the gallery together formed one. She had spent all of her time stressing out about being so close to everything and examining every detail that she missed the big picture all together, but there were blemishes; things that didn’t seem to belong in her picture and that may have been absent from someone else’s.
After she felt better, Rebecca stood and removed these paintings. The curator walked in and took them from her. She remembered the areas that needed the most attention and felt able to prioritize. Each hour, Rebecca returned to the bench to examine all of the painter’s work and to see what she could do in the next hour. If she remembered, she wouldn’t try to take all that responsibility upon herself again. If she tried to do too much she wouldn’t be able to keep up, like before. Her time on the bench was necessary, but she couldn’t stay there too long, else the artwork would begin to peel and gain an undesired layer of dust. There was only one way she could possibly honor the painter and keep from working herself to death, and that was to focus on a small number of paintings well and to allow the others to be in another gallery where someone else could examine them well and still have time to spend on the bench examining the whole picture.
But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body. So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” (1 Corinthians 12:18-21)
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: (Exodus 20:8)