Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Don’t Stare at Markers

Color markers can provide kids with hours of fun. I remember coloring with markers when I was a kid. I loved using a ruler to draw futuristic cars. I say the cars were “futuristic” because they didn’t look much like any cars that anyone had seen before, and I sometimes had to explain that they were, in fact, cars and not dinosaurs or clouds.

My sister was a much better artist, and she had a strong desire to make her art more permanent. One day she decided to take her art off the paper and onto the walls. She drew a nice little house right on the bedroom wall. Today, markers come in a variety of designs. Some markers are washable, and other markers only write on specially designed surfaces. When we were kids, we only had one type of marker – permanent. Now, they are called “classic” markers. My sister’s artwork is still on the walls of our parent’s house. I’m fairly certain that mom keeps it there so that she can remind us of our depravity lest we forget.

Giving a toddler a marker and instructing the child to only write on the paper in front of them is a daunting challenge. Children accidentally discover that the marker will write on other surfaces: the table, the floor, and their little brother. Moms warn their children not to color off the page, but the temptation to stray is often stronger than the warning.

Most of us are no longer tempted to color on the walls or our little brother, but we all face temptation just as strongly as a toddler with a marker. Temptation is a fact of life that we will never outgrow. But, we can become smarter in dealing with temptation. One tool for winning when tempted is to change our thought process. In other words, don’t stare at the marker.

Imagine a toddler holding a marker firmly in his hand, while his mother instructs him to mark only on his paper. Mom walks away, and the boy sits on the floor staring at his marker. The marker soon begins to speak out loud and calls for the boy to free his spirit and express himself unleashing a renaissance.

Temptation grows stronger the longer we think about the object of our temptation. The simplest way to defeat temptation is to change our thought process and think about something different.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

The next time I face temptation, I will try not to stare at the marker. Now, what did I do with my color pens?

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