(It’s guest post Friday! This one is from Thomas Boto, creator of a brand new app! He wrote a great piece on doubt, check it out. That rhymed.)
Doubt visits all of us. Let him in and a polite conversation about your problems will quickly turn into a wrestling match. Doubt is sneaky like that. Even the most talented creators are not immune from being placed in the headlock of doubt.
I’m pretty sure even the great Michelangelo had his moments. He once famously said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” That’s great. Beautiful. Really beautiful. But I have to believe that there came a time AFTER he saw the angel in his marble slab and BEFORE he finally set him free where he thought, “What am I doing? Is this what I want to do with my life? I just spent the last three weeks chiseling and polishing a cherub’s derriere. I’m not sure this angel needs to be set free. Maybe, I should just go be a merchant in Venice…I’ve always been partial to gondolas as a mode of transportation.”
Sure enough, Michelangelo had at least one occasion where he heard the whispers of doubt and despair. In a letter to Giovanni da Pistoia in 1509, Michelangelo complained to his friend that his recent painting was “torture”. Every gesture he made was blind and aimless. His painting was “dead”. He even finished his letter with “I am not a painter.” Michelangelo? Not a painter? You know what he was working on? The Sistine Chapel. THE SISTINE CHAPEL. Only one of the greatest pieces of art the world will ever know. And yet he is ready to turn in his paintbrush. I love it. Isn’t that great? It’s comforting to know that even the greats have their bad days.
Thankfully Michelangelo didn’t listen to his doubt. After reading his letter, it is clear that he let doubt take hold by focusing on his problems (apparently painting upside down all day isn’t very fun). To get out of doubt’s headlock, he simply took a step back, saw the big picture, and then got back to work. He didn’t give up. And neither should you.
So the next time you run into doubt, do what Michelangelo did: take a deep breath, put your head back down (or up in his case), and get back to work. Doubt hates diligence. There’s no doubt about it.
(Thomas and his wife and three boys are the creators of great new FREE app called Owlegories: The Sun – A Christ-centered, Bible-based Storybook App for Kids.)