“Whenever you choose to do something,” my father told me, “you are choosing not to do something else.”
He offered the words to me as scales on which to weigh the competing claims of ministry, but in these five years after moving out of the parsonage I have come back to his words for direction – and for solace – as I feel my way through life.
For this half hour, I am choosing to write. And in doing so I am choosing not to do laundry, not to start a new collage project, not to begin teaching myself how to play guitar – all ideas that occurred to me before I showered (a prior choice made not for myself alone, but also in deference to those near and dear to me) and prayed (a continuation of showering, because, let’s face it, showers are primarily for quiet time alone apart from the rest of the world, and secondarily for the purpose of getting clean.)
Writing is my second choice. My first choice would have been heading to Bull City Craft and picking up some new colored pencils – pencils just for me, not to share with my daughter and end up scattered all over a room far from where I want to use them. And a new pencil sharpener just for me to be kept with the new special pencils, not to be removed and lost between some seat cushions somewhere.
Also on the agenda for the art supply shopping trip would be suggesting to Franklin and/or Jessica that they should carry this book:
Praying in Color is brilliant! It took me very little time to read from cover to cover, and now I am praying longer and deeper and loving it!!! Read this book! You do not have to be a Christian – just someone with enough of a god-concept (or a desire for one) to be driven to pray. And you don’t have to be much of an artist – just enough of one to have doodled sometimes in addition to (or instead of!) taking notes in high school.
I was thinking that I would include a photo of one of my icons (a visual image through which we glimpse the divine), but they seemed a little too personal, so I am including just a detail from one of these drawings:
So why didn’t I end up choosing to go to Bull City Craft? I’m choosing to do something else – actually be at the bus stop when my daughter gets home from school. I don’t think I would have had time to get there and back. Hopefully, she will choose to go to Bull City with me after coming into the house for a snack, instead of choosing to do something else!
As for you, lovely reader, I hope that you choose to check out Praying in Color. Or, if you don’t, that you choose not to in the interest of choosing something else that will be life-giving for you.