Life Lessons · Quiet Times

Staying between the lines



It’s official, adult colouring books in and are doing a roaring trade. Colouring books are the latest phenomonem and booksellers are consistently listing them in their top 10 bestsellers. They have even hit number one on Amazon. Gone are the days when you needed to apprehend your child’s colouring book for some time out (yes that would be me!), now you can own your own. Delightful options too, from Enchanted Forest to Secret Paris, even a Chanel Couture one.

The colouring books are apparently the latest weapon against stress. Indeed take up your crayons people! Taking time to colour in is about relieving stress, inspiring creativity and relaxing. It’s downtime, relaxing time. Health trend even, promoted for colouring your way to peace. Well for everyone that is except me! I must confess I leapt at the opportunity to have a grown up colouring book. I delighted in my newly acquired tools of the trade (aka colouring pencils). I enjoyed sitting colouring in with nothing more pressing to decide than which shade of green to use or which page to choose next.

But then somehow along the way, I lost that joy, that calm. I put pressure on myself to achieve, to complete! I’d finish work for the day, look at my watch and decide yes just enough time to get this page finished. Deadlines in my head started appearing and colouring was no longer relaxing but something to be included on my to-do list. I felt the need to make progress.

We can do the same with our walk with God. What is meant for our enjoyment and pleasure – reading the Bible, worship, prayer – we can sometimes reduce down to something to be ticked off our to-do list. We forget that the purpose, the intent of it in the first place is for relationship with God, something that we can enjoy. Spending time with someone who loves us. Instead we can find ourselves frustrated or demotivated when we get behind on our reading plans. It’s not about perfection or achievement in reading plans completed it is about relationship with the one who created us and loved us first.

Meanwhile, I’m taking a chill pill with the colouring in and remembering that this was meant for fun and enjoyment. I’m remembering too it doesn’t need to be perfect.


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