Avant-garde artist Damien Hirst, became horrified when his latest creative work, displayed in London’s Eyestorm Gallery, came up missing.
An investigation revealed that the “masterpiece” was not stolen, but had simply been discarded by the cleaning crew.
But, before you condemn “those senseless cleaning people,” let me describe Damien’s masterpiece. His art consisted merely of debris from a party he attended on a previous evening. It was nothing more than Beer bottles, Coke cans, cigarette butts, gum wrappers, soiled paper napkins, and used plastic cups in a pile. It’s no wonder it was mistaken for trash.
The old adage says, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” It was the other way around in this case. However, the gallery staff easily duplicated Hirst’s “masterpiece” with items from their own rubbish containers—to cover up the mistake. So the cleaning crew’s assessment was probably accurate.
Damien Hirst, as well as every human being, needs to periodically assess their own performance and contribution. We all need, from time to time, ask ourselves some hard questions: Does my work exhibit any real talent, effort, skill, or training? Does it benefit anyone? Am I helping more people than I hurt? Will the world be a better place because of my efforts?
God grant us the raw courage to honestly assess our lives and take appropriate action.
We need to either shape up or (if we pass the test) continue being faithful and continually strive for excellence. “Let us not grow weary in doing good,” the Scripture tells us, “for we will reap the fruits of our labors if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9).
Dear Father in heaven, I want to help people and not hurt them, to bless and not to curse. I want people to miss me when I’m gone and not to breathe a sigh of relief. Please help me to use all my life and energy to make the world a better place, better than when I found it. Amen.
Information from Warren Hoge, “Life Imitates Are, Perhaps too Closely,” The New York Times, October 20, 2001.