Parable of the Macaroni Art

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Beefster
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Parable of the Macaroni Art

Post by Beefster » 15 Oct 2017, 16:27

I had ward missionary correlation before church today, so I was in the building during another ward's SM. As I sat in the foyer preparing my talk, I saw a few little kids running through the hallway and their parents trying to get them to be reverent. It got me thinking about our capabilities vs God's expectations for us (according to the church). Heavenly Father loves us and is happy for every little thing we do to try to be better.

So I put things in the context of education. Would you expect a kindergartner to come home with a paper on the theory of relativity? A near-perfect replica of the Mona Lisa? No. You expect them to come home with drawings of dinosaurs with misspelled names and macaroni art of mom. And then you'd put their highly unskilled artwork on the fridge for a while to show them that you love them.

In comparison to God, our good works and best efforts are the equivalent of macaroni art to God. They are not worth much and only represent the beginning of our eternal capabilities. And yet God praises our efforts and puts them on the fridge. He welcomes us home, gives us dinner, and then teaches us more things. He doesn't get mad because we tore the paper a little or one of the macaroni noodles falls off before it gets home. He doesn't get mad if we spill extra glue on the page. He accepts our macaroni art exactly as it is.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Sometimes our journeys take us to unexpected places. That is a truly beautiful thing.

nibbler
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Re: Parable of the Macaroni Art

Post by nibbler » 16 Oct 2017, 05:24

I like it.

I wish that attitude was more prevalent in church culture.

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LookingHard
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Re: Parable of the Macaroni Art

Post by LookingHard » 16 Oct 2017, 06:44

nibbler wrote:
16 Oct 2017, 05:24
I like it.

I wish that attitude was more prevalent in church culture.
Amen.

I work with the youth now and given I don't have much of a "testimony" I just focus on trying to make sure that the youth don't carry around the shame that I did as a youth. What I read in Beefster's comments is "we need more love and less shaming".

I read "The Backslider" by Levi Peterson. Quite a funny book. I recommend it if you are looking for a bit of a sarcastic look at Mormon culture (I think the timeframe for the novel was like the 1950's). But THE item I remember was the main character's framing of what God was and how God looked on him. He though of God as some SOB in the sky, looking through his rifle scope with the cross hairs fixed on him (the main character) just waiting to see him screw up so he could let him have it. That is quite a bit how I felt as a youth (his version is taken to an extreme well beyond what I felt).

And if you want to hear a gut-wrenching current current version of current day shame, go listen to http://celestialsex.libsyn.com/scott-cannons-testimony (note - probably not something you want to pull up at work).

nibbler
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Re: Parable of the Macaroni Art

Post by nibbler » 16 Oct 2017, 06:57

I never imagined god with a sniper rifle. I just imagined me doing my best Linda Hamilton meets chain link fence impersonation at the second coming.

When Elder Christofferson gave his talk during the April '17 conference he talked about shame cultures and I remember thinking that in that particular moment of my life the church was the largest shame culture that I was exposed to. To each their own.

Roy
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Re: Parable of the Macaroni Art

Post by Roy » 16 Oct 2017, 12:36

I love the parable of the macaroni art!

I also have another way to look at that. Many times the gospel plan is presented as a puzzle. There is a master plan and one correct way to put the pieces together. We in life can arrange our puzzle pieces into more or less of the paint by numbers pattern given to us by leadership. There will be gaps. We are instructed to wait patiently until those gaps are filled in. There will also be some errant pieces that do not seem to belong to our puzzle. We can put those items to the side or "on the shelf".

Of course macaroni does not lend itself quite so well to a follow the leader format. Sure, you could copy someone else's design but you could also make something really cool like a dinosaur or Sith Lord. Your own design/art would be just as valid and it would be wholly yours.

Life is actually a mixture of both concepts. We live by conformity, rules, and stability - but also by imagination, diversity, and self expression. Both are helpful, both are needed.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Parable of the Macaroni Art

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 Oct 2017, 17:53

:thumbup:
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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