I Am Mount Rushmore
DECEMBER 7, 2021
Did you know Mount Rushmore isn’t finished?
Or rather, work on the sculpture definitely is finished, but the project as originally envisioned is far from complete. What we see carved into that rugged South Dakota outcropping are the granite noggins of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln – and kinda-sorta Washington’s left shoulder.
Why this somewhat tentative outline of his body?
Because originally, the sculpture was supposed to entail not just their heads, but necks, shoulders, and torsos. We would have seen Washington’s full overcoat to his waist, his left arm hanging casually at his side. Lincoln would have been holding his lapel, as if turning up his collar to the cold.
Sadly, we’ll never see that full vision. And yet, two things stand out…
One, we can definitely see where this work of art was headed.
And two, it’s clear this raw material was in the hands of a capable artist (actually two artists, the father/son team of Gutzon and Lincoln Borglum).
All of this leads me to a statement – and there’s no way this isn’t going to sound weird, so I’m just going to say it…
I like the person God is making me into.
I shouldn’t be surprised – He did say He was taking on that task – but I am surprised. Really and truly.
To be clear, I don’t see this “new Matthew” in the mirror every morning. Rather, I just catch a fleeting glimpse of him every now and then, just out of the corner of my eye. When something doesn’t go my way, but instead obsessing over it, I just roll with it. Or when I feel wronged, but I just breathe out instead of unleashing a torrent of swearing…
I should have finished writing this article last week, because then I could have left it on the positive note above.
But then this weekend happened.
- I was short in how I spoke to my wife.
- I wasted time worrying about things I can’t change.
- I watched football when I could have spent time with my babies.
- I entertained past perceived slights – wallowing in my feelings of self-righteous suffering.
- And plenty of other things that I’m sure not telling you about.
Ugh… like Mount Rushmore, I am a work of art that is unfinished.
But listen – unlike Mount Rushmore, God hasn’t run out of funding or lost interest in this project.
It’s unfinished because He’s unhurried.
And I can be sure – we can be sure – that we are in the hands of an Artist.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” – Philippians 1:6
To be honest, sometimes I doubt this verse (though if we can’t trust God to make good on this promise, grand as it is, how could we trust Him on any promise He’s made?).
The translation above uses the word “certain.” KJV says “confident.” But the original Greek word means “being persuaded of.” Persuaded. In other words, “I didn’t believe. Not at all. But now? Now I do.”
You want to be better – I know that. Your Heavenly Father knows that and my guess is it makes Him smile.
And the fact that you want to be better is actually proof that God is already in the midst of creating His masterpiece.
Even unfinished, we can see where the sculptors were headed with Mount Rushmore. So what is “his work” alluded to in Philippians that God is actively engaged in creating? Oh, just a little something called Being Like Jesus…
“We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” – I John 3:2b
Now that is an unveiling worth waiting for.