Our youngest, Debbie, just left for Puerto Rico and her second year of ministering to athletes. She’s thrilled to be going back.
I miss her already.
There’s an adrenalin rush with anticipated independence and living in a place your family’s never lived or visited. She’s going back seasoned, having lived and worked there for a year. The romance of this island nation has given way to the reality of a country that’s economically challenged, where good jobs are hard to come by.
And it’s hot. Little air conditioning. Even though she’s an athlete, Deb’s never been a fan of excessive sweat and heat.
She’s choosing to go back. Her heart insisted.
In the days before she left, I’d find her sitting at the breakfast bar, coloring.
A dear friend in Ohio had sent me an adult coloring book and a vibrant variety of colored pencils months ago. A whimsical gift that met my soul needs. The book is called “Color Me Calm”.
A big person’s book that brings back the creative endeavors of childhood. Without performance anxiety. I can color in the lines. Or not. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Freedom and fun in a rainbow of colors. Relaxing and self-soothing.
Deb would work at the picture a bit. Walk away. Come back. I could see her visibly relax.
Until a few days before she was to leave.
“I’m not done! I’ve not finished my picture.”
“I’ve got to finish it. I can’t leave it like this.”
So what was meant to be a means to relax now became a project of intent. The goal of finishing superseded the benefit of calmly coloring.
She’s become me.
How many times have I pathologically struggled to make something count instead of enjoying the moment? How often have I lost sight of the fun of being with people because I was in a snit to get something accomplished?
Color me confusing.
I’m actually pretty good at being in the moment–until I’m not. The S (should, not snarky) word can sit on my shoulder like a burdensome boulder. I lose sight of what’s in front of me.
I color faster. Harder. Forget about the joy of choosing the right colors. The lines and spaces mock me.
Jesus never rushed. He was a master at being in the moment. With the people He cared about. The ones He came to help.
“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give…” John 14:27
Peace. Calm. Not a norm for this world. A gift from the One who created this world.
I’m going to choose to take time to color a picture.
And give Jesus the opportunity to color my heart with who He is.
Maybe even outside the lines.