The way you lead or mislead your current life depends on the principles that you heed or do not heed. There is only one way to continue your quest for survival, and one way to face the daily competition and be victorious; that is to understand and follow the principles that govern life. These are the principles of design God laid out for man. Once you have responded to the recall offered through Jesus Christ, these principles will point the direction for life.
In 2013, I had a personal encounter with “The Principles of Design in Art” while helping my daughter to study for her art test in high school. She had to remember the seven principles: emphasis, contrast, movement, unity, pattern, rhythm and balance. As a way to help her remember them, we came up with, “Every Caring Mother Understands, Pattern, Rhythm and Balance.” To this day, even now in college, she has never forgotten that sentence acrostic. The principles have stuck with me too.
Let us follow the principle. There goes that word ‘principle’ again. So far we have been following a principal thought that leads us into other thoughts about ourselves. When it comes to design, principles govern designs not only in art, but in life. If you wrote a book, it would be really odd if the book had very thick book covers and only one page inside. Or, if you wrote a song, it would be boring if the song had one note, like “do,” from beginning to end. To ensure that there is some standard, principles govern the way we design things—even in the way we were designed.
In this light, the Ten Commandments represent God’s law and standard for the world. I am positive that if we look into God’s law, we will find each one of the seven principles I have already mentioned. The commandments are well balanced in our responsibilities to God and to man. Each commandment has its own point of emphasis, but work in concert with the others. In addition, it has love at its center. God’s law has instructional patterns, “Thou shalt not…Thou shalt not.” If we follow the rhythm of obedience, our lives will unite with God’s plan which will direct our movement and actions. The law shows a contrast between what we do and what we should not do. Therefore the principles of design definitely permeate the Ten Commandments. We can go deeper if we want to, but that scales the surface for now.
By the way, do not forget the ingenuity of our Master Designer. Computers emulate the design of the brain. Glasses emulate the design of eyes. Airplanes emulate the design of birds. Therefore the principles of design in art will teach us what God’s design of the natural world has already taught artists and designers. Therefore, these principles are not just for art; they are not new to us, they have been around since creation. We are born with these principles, we only need to activate them to help us fulfill the perfect thought. God thought about these principles before He designed us. A perfect design has a combination of all these 7 principles: contrast, emphasis, unity, rhythm, balance and pattern. Nature is not bashful when boasting these principles and we should not be either.
Think about your life right now, is there balance? What kind of movement is happening in your life? I’m not referring to getting up and running from the job to the bank, to home, to the grocery—not that kind of movement. Is there unity and rhythm? Is the pattern of life you lead traceable? Is it an example that others can follow? After all, when we see patterns, do we not take notice? Is there anything about your life that has emphasis?
If we want to be one step ahead of the competition, we have to know the principles inside out and execute them daily. In the next seven days, we will explore each of these seven principles. And I hope that you will not miss a day. There is something worthy of your attention. I am sure you want to see how your life measures up, because principles, or the lack thereof, govern your life.
Galatians 5:16, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”