In Praise of Limitations

There's something in me that chafes at being hindered. Here's the little game of mad libs I find myself playing. Let's see if you're familiar with it as well...

If I had more money, I could ________.

If I didn't have to wait for _________, I could __________.

If it wasn't for ________, I'd already be _________.

If I was good at ________, I could _________.

If only my kids would _______, I could ________.

If I wasn't bound by ________, I would _________.

...because it is so easy to think that the world would open up for us if we had more options...and fewer limitations

But did you know that all the colors on the color wheel can be formed from the three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow? 

If given a choice, I'd purchase one of every tube of paint in every color. The various shades and hues are enticing, and the possibilities seem endless. With names like Ocean Green and Yellow Ochre, my paintings promise to come alive if I were to have just a few more tubes of paint. 

But, in reality, I could experience the full range of colors by only having three. In fact, I might become a better painter...and understand color more fully...were I to be limited, bound by only what's necessary.

A canvas can be strewn with every display of color with nothing but the basic three. What gives it vibrancy and depth in color is not the amount of pre-mixed colors available to an artist, but the artist's wisdom in using what she has available to her.


Limitations only keep us from relying on ourselves; they cannot limit what knows no bounds. 

And so it is with this day we've been given. We can be paralyzed by what we don't have, what we lack, what we can't get past...what we believe are limitations. Or, we can anticipate the full spectrum of what can be accomplished through the hands of the Artist.

We are limited and finite...He is author of rainbows. 

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