Sleeve Notes 101: 05/08/2005 - 05/15/2005

Monday, May 09, 2005

Seeing In Technicolor

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to laze around in front of the TV. There is nothing like a beautiful day, with absolutely no responsibilities and a remote. Somehow I ended up watching the Biography channel. As this past Sunday we celebrated those amazing people we call moms, the Biography channel had filled their offerings with specials regarding moms. At one point they featured the Judds -- Naomi, Wynona and Ashley. I watched as Wynona began to describe how deeply she was affected when her mother was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and was no longer able to travel. Wy described being scared, then she paid her mother the most amazing compliment. "My mom," she said, "taught us to see in technicolor. To not be afraid to color outside the lines."

I've thought about that as the weekend drew to a close. Coloring outside of the lines. When I was a kid and was given a coloring book, I was always instructed to "be careful and color in the lines." Obviously by coloring in the lines, you create a uniform, and some would argue, beautiful picture. What is it about uniformity and perfection that draws us? We have this desire to put perfect little lines around everything.

In the scriptures we are told that God's ways are so much higher than ours that we can't even begin to understand them. Why is it then that we put God into a box? We have a tendency to see everything in stark black and white. I get the feeling that in our haste to build these perfect little boxes, we've limited our growth potential. And not just ours, but others around us. We are so busy telling people how to live in a black and white world that we are missing the beauty that God has for us. I sometimes think of it like going down to your local electronics store with its vast array of high definition color televisions and all the bells and whistles that accompany them and asking for a little black and white monitor.

Maybe the real reason we like to see in black and white is because we are afraid of what we might see if we allowed ourselves. As I've thought about "coloring outside the lines" I thought about a picture my friend is painting using only his imagination as his pallet. It's going to be beautiful when it's done...and it will sell for a lot of money. I think God is a lot like my artist friend. He is not limited by the lines we try to draw around a problem or a person. He's not confined to the cardboard boxes we whip up at the slightest provocation. Perhaps if we quit trying to ascribe our thoughts as God's and realized that's He is absolutely not limited to our simple little lines, we might start seeing a picture that would impress even us.

In the movie The Fighting Temptations, Cuba Gooding, Jr. played an advertising executive who, as he closed his presentation said, "and that gentlemen is not thinking outside of the box, it's realizing that there is no box at all!" I wonder how our lives would be transformed if we could come to a realization that we don't have to live with a box mentality. That we don't have to always live in black and white. That we can color outside of the lines! Maybe it's time to let our imaginations run away with us for a little while and start seeing things like God sees them...not like we think He should! Maybe it's time to start seeing in technicolor. I have a feeling we might start to see that it's a brilliant new world out there.