WHAT COLORING TAUGHT ME
An acquaintance and I were discussing what we want to do that will be meaningful as we grow older. “I am not going to color!” was her strong statement. There was a hint of disgust in her tone. I love to color. I have a nice set of pencils and markers and several books. When I am upset or puzzling about a problem keeping my hands busy as I stew frees me to clarify my processing. I love to see patterns change as I choose one color over another or accentuate one part of the design instead of another. There have been times when I have wished I had made a copy to do differently so I could see a different potential. Recently I chose a page with twenty different small patterns. I made the decision to only use three pencils or shades of colors on each one.
I am a very strong “thinker” on the Myers-Briggs Personality Scale. That means that I trust what I think about something, using facts to make my decisions, rather than deciding by how I feel about something. As the page progressed I found myself wondering about my choices. Should I use blue this time? No, I used it in the line above. Maybe if I use a different shade of green with more yellow or red. Perhaps that would work better here? But as the page filled up a realization came over me that I was now making my decisions, not by what I was thinking would look right but by how I was feeling about what would work. It brought my project to a complete stop, so I could think about this.
I recalled a training session I took to help me understand how Myers Briggs could be helpful in relating to individual worship preferences. Several well-known theologians are thought to fall into different MB categories: thinker/feeler, introvert/extrovert, sensory/intuitive. I was told that my type is Thomistic or like Thomas Aquinas. Franciscan worship is for someone who prefers to go sit on a rock in a field. But I argued: “I always feel closer to God and more worshipful outside and in a natural setting”. That, they said, is because my guard is down. None of my preferences for thinking are in play to inhibit me. Perhaps. I just know that a little waterfall in the creek in my city park is where I like to go to pray and think.
I am thankful for Celtic Spirituality that has taught me that it’s okay to be in relationship with the God of Creation. It is okay to feel God’s presence in my life as well. Sometimes it is harder to do this in the city. But there is always a lovely (sometimes lonely stray) flower, a fallen pine cone, the toothless smile on the face of the little old lady in the wheelchair passing me in the hospital hallway, a hawk soaring above to remind me that God is everywhere present to me. What I learned from this reflection is that I can trust God with my whole being; not only by what I think about who God is but by how I experience God.
How I see and feel God’s presence.