In today's fast pace world of technology things can be "created" in large quantities, in a relatively short amount of time. They can be beautiful things, lovely to look at, but lacking value because they are not unique.
I have a display case that is full of such things. Little statues that are collectiables only because the manufacture had set the quanity to be made at a set point, so only so many people could own them. But they are not unique.
Yet sitting among those little figurines are some truly distinct treasures. They really have no monitary value. Hand painted plates that my grandmother painted over half a century ago. Brush strokes that are her's alone and cannot be duplicated (believe me, I've tried!) Colors and shading all coming together in the way she invisioned them. It wasn't a quick slap it on and be done with it. I sat many hours watching her, trying to learn her craft. If it wasn't right, she would take a rag and wipe out that part and redo it, and redo it, until it was right. Then it would go into the kiln to be fired. That was the first step. All the truly lovely pieces of this art form take at least three, possible more, of the apply the paint, wipe out mistakes, and put through the fire, steps to a finished plate.
I start to reflect this process in regard to Philippians 1:6 "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ," with the lives we live. Each and every day is a our opportunity to make the brush stokes in the masterpiece that God invisioned us to be. In some mysterious way, we do the painting, but God will pick up the rag and wipe out the mistakes, and have us redo, and redo, and redo, then back into the fire again and again until we come closer and closer to that which He sees us to be, reflections of love made perfect in His precious son, Jesus, the only unique one with the most precious value, and we his prize possessions.