Maybe We Just Need Skinnier Markers

catalyst bokeh

 

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.

Crayola-Broad-Line-Washable-Markers-Pack-of-8-P14819543

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.

skinny markers

 

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.

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Every Choice You Make Today Will Make One Easier Tomorrow

MortonArboretumHow many choices do you think you’ve made so far today?

10? 100? 10,000?

Studies are now estimating that we make thousands (possibly even tens of thousands) of decisions each day.

Click send on THAT email? SUPERsize it? Which word BEST articulates my range of emotions for that driver?

In fact, I recently attended an awesome Franklin Covey seminar with Haydn Shaw in which he referred to “decision fatigue.

The basic idea here is that we’re faced with so many choices each day that by the afternoon, most of us are mentally exhausted and ready to take the path of least resistance on any decision.

Ice cream. Internet habits. Electronic babysitter for the kids. Work productivity. Nothing left for significant other. Etc.

Many of us are not giving our best to the things we value most, and we’re not even aware of it.

And here’s what’s crazy….

Every decision you make today will make one easier tomorrow. Continue reading

Oh hey, you look just like my maid…

Cinderella-the girlsBack in 2009 (you know…when I was like…ummm…19…yeah, that’s it), we were privileged to go to Disney with Elizabeth’s family. Our girls were beyond excited, but for the record, I think I was the biggest kid in our group of 10. So much so, that I made us ride “It’s A Small World” enough times that it may have violated the Patriot Act.

The girls dressed up as their favorite princess, and we made our way to 1900 Park Fare to dine with Cinderella and her family. During the meal (which was awesome, by the way), one of the step-sisters said the funniest thing I’ve ever heard at Disney. I’m sure she’s used the line 500 times to other girls dressed up in that same outfit, but for us, it was our first time hearing it and it only added to the magic.

She took one look at the pretty blue dress of our youngest daughter (then 2yo) and said, “Oh hey, you look just like my maid.” Continue reading

This Summer…make 10yo you insanely jealous of current you

SixFlagsFam1This week, 10yo Jason LOST HIS MIND in jealousy over a decision 34yo Jason made.

Not that 10yo Jason wouldn’t be totally envious of so many things in current Jason’s life. I mean, I remember those warm summer nights of long ago…when 10yo Jason would sit on the porch…and someday dream of riding in style in a 17yo Honda CR-V.

…or long for that guilty feeling current Jason has when he finishes off the entire giant bag of Sweedish Fish in just 3 days…hypothetically…I mean…a friend of mine did… Continue reading

Make Time For Play

JasonSheddGirls“Get your work done in 35 hours each week, and use the other 5 for play.”

That’s the quote I heard recently at a conference. Now, I recognize that 40-hour-work-weeks may not be a reality for most of us, but I’ll assume you’re fully capable of scaling the principle to fit your reality.

It reminds me of the old Google policy about “20% Time” in which Google employees were encouraged to take time each week to dream and create and innovate. And at least a couple of nuggets were developed during that time…you know…like Gmail and AdSense. Continue reading

Don’t Let Your Job Be Your Only Creative Outlet

IMG_3388I was at a conference 2 weeks ago, put on by Worship Foundations. It was a gathering in San Diego of 70 or so worship pastors from around the country, and it was just awesome. While we had some great teaching and worship time together, the most impactful quote for me came during a debrief time in which they interviewed a few different guys and girls¬†about what they’ve been through recently on their journey.

My edited version of what one guy said was:

“Don’t let your job be your only creative outlet.” Continue reading