Painting by Numbers

Yes, I love to paint by numbers.



I have never been gifted in visual arts, nor have I pursued it, so I find myself in my 24th year without any particular draw towards attempting to paint a masterpiece. The one exception to this being the beautiful paint by numbers, where you are guided quite mathematically to fill in the blanks to a pre-determined masterpiece.

You don’t always know how it will look.

Today I was painting a paint by numbers and thinking as I went, isn’t life a little bit like this paint by numbers?

This prayer from A Course In Miracles comes up – Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say, and to whom?

Here, the universe responds: start by mixing paints 6 and 23 and fill in this little blurb.

What good does it do in this context to respond “I thought I was supposed to paint a house, let me put a straight brown line here instead”? If you do that, the painting won’t turn out the way it’s intended to. There’s not much point doing a paint by numbers that way.

Life’s guidance can be this simple too, if we allow it to. It is quiet, but if you listen, you’ll hear it.

This is key – you won’t hear a loud screaming voice. All you will hear is a simple, “just paint a bit of 17 into this little circle here”.

You may not understand why you are painting light pink onto a night sky horizon, but before you know it you are looking at a magnificent sunset, which you created.

Here’s to guidance, and here’s to painting our lives by numbers.


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