I attended a workshop led by Craig McNair Wilson several years ago. Conference attendees and I were greeted by a sign at the door that instructed us to put away our pens or pencils and pick up a crayon for taking notes. Huh? I looked around and everyone else shrugged a “Who knows?” as we wondered what was going to take place.
Craig had us hooked before he even entered the room. We all wondered what he would say and why we couldn’t use a pen or pencil. That alone is impressive. Typically, I enter a class or conference checking my watch to see how long I had to be there, and I sit strategically by the door in case a quick exit is required. This time, I sat right in the middle of the class–completely hindering any subtle escape–and waited expectantly.
I’ve got to admit, that sense of wonder and excitement have all but escaped my spiritual life. I do things a certain way at a certain time in a certain place…and get bored. The problem isn’t with the things or the time or the place. The problem is that overuse sucks the life out of them. Routine is helpful for establishing good habits or learning a new skill. But it can also be the death of whatever initially interested you.
When was the last time you read the Bible while sitting in a tree—or serenaded a loved one outside a window? Why do you drive to work the same way every time? Is it essential to put your left leg in your pants before the right leg? And whatever happened to suspenders or bow-ties or leg warmers? Why not slip on one of those—or all three—once in a while? Did you know that nearly 100% of Kindergartners believe they are creative? Sadly, by the time they reach high school, 70% of the creative spirit is gone. There are plenty of reasons to enumerate what happened, but instead of focusing on the past, place a crayon next your silverware at dinner this week, with a blank piece of paper folded under the plate or sitting under the drinking glass. When questions begin about the crayon and paper, don’t give a reason. Just continue your conversation while you draw…or answer via a drawing and pass it around. What will happen? Who knows? Actually, you will once you try.