Oh, how I love a new box of crayons! This is something that has not changed since I was a child, when receiving a new box of them brought a rush of excitement (especially if it was a BIG box!). I loved the anticipation of lifting the lid for the first time and gazing upon the multicolored gathering, all points pristinely sharpened. I loved their colored paper wrapping, the waxy smell of them, the interesting names of the shades. My love of the color periwinkle began with Crayola and continues to this day.
I was talking with a friend today about some difficult things she is going through when an analogy began to take shape in my mind. What if our lives were like a piece of paper upon which a story is being drawn? With the dynamic tension between our free will and the guidance of Providence in mind, we draw the story with the crayons God provides. Each new experience, each skill, each difficult valley is a new crayon that God places in our hands. What we draw with it determines how the picture of our lives turns out. Do we turn the crayon over in our hands thoughtfully before we draw? Do we paint the page black with angry scribbles? Do we close our eyes and pray, asking God to guide our hands, and then peek with surprise at what He's created? Certainly each of our pages reflect a bit of each method.
We cannot know which crayon God will give us, or when. While some seem to have boxes of bright, pretty colors, others draw amazing things with dark colors only. The process is two-fold: crayons from God (His loving gifts to us) and our creative and prayerful use of them. Thinking like this helps make sense of some of the valleys I've traveled and those I'm sure to walk through in the future.
Mmmmm... maybe a wonderful heretofore unimagined version of periwinkle is ahead... or perhaps a lovely shade of forest green...
Either way, I'd better go prep the canvas with lots of prayer.