When good things have an expiration date

On Sunday morning, I was walking to my car, after church, when I looked up, and saw this:

It’s a Banksy!  If you haven’t heard of Banksy, he’s a street artist from the U.K.  His film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, had its SF premier recently. Since then, everyone has been talking about the Banksy’s found around town.  This one is in Chinatown.

There are reportedly six in all.  No one knows how long they will be up, because the property owners, and or city officials, could paint over them at anytime.  So, everyone is frantically visiting all the sites.  It’s a pretty fun thing.  It’s like a grown up scavenger hunt, except, it’s in appreciation of “possibly” illegal art.  It also helps that Banksy is such a mysterious figure.

It’s got me thinking about good things that need to be enjoyed in a timely manner.  Maybe it’s because I saw the Banksy after church, but it reminds me of manna.  (We’ve been talking a lot about manna at our church.)  Manna was the food God gave the Israelites during their journey in the wilderness.  The thing about manna is that it was not meant to be stored up.  God provided it in a miraculous way, everyday, and they were only to take enough for that day.  “But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough.  Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered a little had enough.  Each family had just what it needed.” (Exodus 16:18)  When they tried to store the manna bad things happened: maggots, and stink.  

In my normal humanness, I want to make the good things, the norm.  I want to store them up and have them everyday.  But, for some things, like manna, or Banksy’s, storing them up ruins the goodness.  The gift is in the ludicrous generosity!  That God would part the skies and rain down manna all around the Israelites, for just one day’s worth of food.  Or, that Banksy would think through and plan out works of art, that people might not find, that will be painted over eventually.  That’s crazy good fun! (Yeah, I said, crazy good fun.)

Don’t you want to get in on that?  I am a daily receiver of these kind of crazy good gifts, not because of anything I’ve done, but because I have a ludicrously generous God.  And, because it does not come naturally for me to be a gracious receiver, He has had to teach me.  The same way He had to teach the Israelites not to hoard their manna.  One thing I’ve been learning is that the better I get at receiving, and celebrating these gifts, the better I get at giving them.  Isn’t that fun?  So, receive your crazy good gifts.  Thank the Giver profusely.  Then, watch and see how ludicrous you can become.

*photos courtesy of Hypebeast.com


2 thoughts on “When good things have an expiration date

  1. Crazy good manna – I love the idea that art – even and especially street art – a little like live music or theater – may be here one minute and gone the next. I’m wondering, then, in what way such gifts shape my definitions of art and grace, and expand my willingness to believe in a certain kind of God… I mean lessen the narrowness of my faith.
    So are we saying that Banksy is in the SF area – or he has disciples here who carry on his work while he remains invisible? – just curious.

    • Apparently, he was here for the premiere, and then the pieces showed up. It’s all speculation, of course. Many say that Banksy is actually a group of people. There are pics online of two men painting two different Banksys. I kind of don’t want to know. It makes it more fun. 🙂

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