If you ask anyone who knows me (and a lot of people who have just met me), they should be able to tell you what my favorite color is without much hesitation. For three years, my hair was purple. I have gone back to my natural hair color, but will be adding a purple streak soon. There are few days when I am not wearing something purple. I love the color. And I believe there is a reason for that.
I went away for the weekend to be by myself. It’s something that I need from time to time, and it has been too long since I’ve last done it. Throughout the weekend, I kept being led to thoughts on color. It’s hard to explain how my mind works so I apologize if this starts to go several different directions. I am constantly thinking about several things at the same time, and I never really know when God is going to interrupt with a new thread. I don’t often create what is considered normal ‘quiet time’ to talk with God. He talks to me whenever He wants because I am always listening for His voice. I hear Him best when I am actively thinking about something else or when He speaks through others, not when I am sitting still waiting for Him to speak. I spent a lot of time walking today, listening to music and enjoying the scenery. God and I had some great conversation, even when I was arguing with Him, and even when I was pushing for answers that He was not willing to give.
I spend the majority of my time working as a business analyst. It’s not really what I saw myself doing, but it pays the bills – and I’m really good at my job. The reason I’m good at my job has less to do with training/schooling as it has to do with how I am wired. My mind likes numbers. It likes solutions. It likes right and wrong. It likes black and white. I have always, and probably always will, look for black and white answers.
But my favorite color is purple. When you hear the word ‘purple’ what do you think of? Plum? Violet? Lavender? Eggplant? Light? Dark? There are so many shades of every major color we think of. Have you ever tried to buy paint? Some places have color swatch books that are inches thick – every subtle difference in shading imaginable.
On my walk, I took this picture…
What colors do you see?
We do not live in a black and white world. We live in a world full of color. But it’s not just blue or green or brown…it is subtle, and not so subtle, differences in shading. It’s impossible to look at anything and see just one thing. I found this website that shows different meanings of different colors. I included the meanings of purple above. There are so many different words – so many things that purple can convey to different people. It is the same for every color included. Here is the link if you want to check it out…
Does it surprise you that God created a world full of people who are so unique that they can look at the same thing and think and feel so differently? There are so many shades of color because there are so many different people. God isn’t black and white. He is shades of purple…and shades of blue…and shades of green…and shades of gray.
His words to me lately have been about those shades. He knows that I want a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’. He knows that I will always seek that no matter how much I learn or how comfortable I may get with the ‘unknown’ and the ‘gray’. I will still want black and white. And He’s ok with that because He knows my heart. He knows that at the end of the day I will follow Him wherever He leads. So He will allow me to question Him, argue with Him, and push Him for answers because, though He created me with an analytical mind, He also created me with a creative side that thrives off of shades of gray. I’ve asked a lot of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions lately, and His answer has been the same.
“You are so intent on having a definitive answer, but it’s never that simple. The question isn’t what I want you to do or the direction I want you to go. The question is ‘Are you paying attention?’ If you go right, are you watching to see how I work? If you go left, are you watching to see how I work? That is all that matters. Which way you go is up to you. I will work either way.”
I have spent most of my life trying to live up to other people’s expectations. I always thought that was what was best. I don’t really have that desire anymore. I am 100% positive that God created me uniquely, and He gave me a brain that He intended for me to use. I don’t always like it, but it has always been clear to me that God wired me in a way that most of the world will never understand. That makes me feel extremely isolated most of the time, and that has caused me to continue to try and live based off of what others think is best. And I in no way think that what is best for me is best for anyone else. There is no right or wrong. Where would God’s creativity be displayed if there was a simple, across the board, answer for what is best? I am finally starting to realize that I will never get to where I want to be if I continue to live based off of what others believe. It won’t be an easy road, but I am ready to live my life without needing a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. I will still ask for them because that is a part of my wiring. But I commit to also embrace the shades of gray. God commanded us to LOVE. It is why Jesus died for us. It is what we are called to do. It means that we have to figure out a way to accept the shades of gray. Because God is not black and white.