Posted by: Anne | March 9, 2009

in the details

Several centuries ago, the Emperor of Japan commissioned a Japanese artist to paint a particular species of bird for him. Months passed, then years. Finally, the Emperor himself went to the artist’s studio to ask for an explanation.

The artist set a blank canvas on the easel and within fifteen minutes, had completed a painting of the bird. It was a masterpiece! Admiring both the painting and the artist’s great skill, the Emperor asked why there had been such a long delay.

The artist then went from cabinet to cabinet in his studio. He pulled from them armloads of drawings of feathers, tendons, wings, feet, claws, eyes, beaks–virtually every aspect of a bird, from virtually every angle. He placed them before the Emperor, who nodded in understanding. The magnificence of any finished product can never be greater than the magnificence of any singular detail.

To have an excellent life, strive for an excellent year. Within that year, strive for an excellent month, and within that month, strive for an excellent day. Within a day, strive for an excellent hour. An excellent life is the sum of many excellent moments!

[source: God’s Little Devotional Book – found here]

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