Did you enjoy coloring as a kid?
I absolutely loved it.
Here’s my confession: even though my job title has the word “arts” in it, even as I advocate for creativity and passion within churches and schools, even as we push our kids always to search for the creative answer to solve any problem…guess what…I stink at drawing. Seriously, not an artistic bone in my body in that respect.
But I LOVE to color. Also, I’m lazy.
So as a kid, anytime I was given the option of which crayon or marker to color with…I always chose the big, fat, fattie ones. You know the type. Broad line, easy to use, less work. And I’m guessing I’m not the only one.
Trouble is…I don’t think our desire for broad categories and easy identifiers and less work ended in childhood.
There are seriously days in which I’m about ready to give up social media. It seems like many in my life have been stricken with a disease that renders them unable to identify any subtle nuances in the world around them. Everything is labeled good or bad, and then I fire off my 140 character rant about it…or even better if I can find it in a 10 word meme.
One lunatic with a video blog gets upset about red cups at a coffee shop, and every Christian is an insecure hypocrite. A few groups of extremists carry out some unfathomable acts of terror, and suddenly every person with a worldview different than yours ought to be locked up in a camp. Somebody has a few political views that differ from yours? Then by all means, they can’t possibly lead our nation.
Maybe we just need skinnier markers.
You know, like the cool guys wear their jeans. (haha, okay, I couldn’t resist given the mockery I take daily for my choice in jean fit)
But seriously, maybe it’s time for us to embrace the nuances of life.
Maybe it’s less about filling in the big spaces with color and more about appreciating the details of the contours.
Maybe if we listened more than we spoke, we might learn something.
Been painting with a broad brush lately? Fine. But take some time to listen today.
Been largely unaware that there’s a big world out there filled with beauty that may not necessarily fit into your pre-determined categories? Okay, ask some questions, and see if your perspective grows.
And if you’ve been the recipient of unfair characterizations, then it’s time to step up. People make assumptions by what they see. If you want them to see better in you, then start showing it today.
There is no greater example of the best of what you represent than your life fully devoted to it.