The Birthplace of Herbert Hoover, Westbranch Iowa 1931 by Grant Wood
It's late summer moving into fall in rural Iowa (a Midwestern state in the U.S.). The rich greens are giving way to rust and orange colors. The lighting in this painting draws you into this peaceful rural scenery. The houses look of fresh white paint with a neat trim. The lawns are immaculate and the trees neatly shaped.
There is a man with his arms outstretched to us wanting to show off his house, his town. "Welcome!" - but welcome to what? The longer you look the more you feel that something is wrong. The road is empty, the neighborhood almost deserted. Everything is still and quiet---too quiet! No children are playing. No dogs are running. No cars are on the road. The plants and trees have no leaves out of place. Everything is manicured and perfect. But, the beauty of order has gone to an extreme so that there is no life.
If you're a perfectionist you may be silently bringing death around you. Your house might look like a showcase but is there life in it? Can your children play? Can your spouse help with dinner and mess up the kitchen? Do your neighbors feel at home in your yard?
Physical order in your life and home brings peace and relaxation. But, a perfectionist will drive people away. People always mess things up. Boys run a path in the grass playing ball and dogs love to chase the ball.
We are to subdue the earth and bring it into order but we are also to live using all the wonderful things that God created for us and share them with others. Don't let your life become so planned and perfect that you kill the spontaneity of life.