Coloring Inside The Lines

The following is a guest post from my little brother, Jeffrey Bryant.  Jeff is incredibly intelligent and talented and has a knack for writing and story-telling (not to mention the fact that he is dangerously funny).  I have been trying to convince him to start a blog for some time now with no luck.  Leave a comment and help me convince him!

From the beginning of time, people have always been told to “color inside the lines.”  If we go outside the boundaries, the picture just will not look good anymore.  But what happens when we are coloring the picture of our life?  It becomes a situation where we must set our own boundaries.  Every person we come in contact with is  a different color, and every thing that happens is a page in the coloring book.

So we go through our lives, coloring this and coloring that, trying so hard to decide where we belong.  And we do our best to organize our lives – to sort all the different crayons in the box.  We may do it one color together.  Or maybe even by which colors we use the most.  And sometimes other colors hurts us.  But more often, we hurt other colors.  We may try to blame them for the scribbled mess that is our life, but everything that happens is a result of stepping outside the boundaries.

Coloring outside the lines is a bold step to take, but it is still one that must be taken.  If we color inside the lines, like we have always been taught, then new knowledge, new pain, new joy – these things will never come.  But when we step outside our boundaries – outside our comfort zone – things start to happen, and new pictures are created.  They are the things of our imagination, not someone else’s.

When we color outside the lines, it is a picture of ourselves – a portrait of what we have been through; our insecurities, our fears, our secret desires, our hopes, and our dreams.  So a challenge has been placed before each of us.  But it is more than a challenge; it is an opportunity.  Are we going to stay inside the lines and be “comfortable”? Or are we going to step outside our boundaries – risking ridicule, pain, fearing everything and everyone around us in order to reveal our very essence and creat a true portrait of ourselves?  As for me, I choose to always “color” OUTSIDE the lines!

Epic

I love epic tales of adventure; stories full of trials, struggles, battles, victories, defeats, and triumph.  I am easily caught up in classic epics like Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, and yes, even Star Wars!  Stories like these have so many parallels into the very real “plot” of our lives.  When I read (or watch) these stories I tend to imagine myself as one of the characters.  I relish in the adventure lived vicariously through heroes like William Wallace, Benjamin Martin, and Maximus Decimus Meridius (Braveheart, The Patriot, and Gladiator).  Yet, more often than not, I fail to display the same courage which I admire in these characters when faced with reality.

Rather than stand in the face of adversity and uncertainty, I tend to complain and doubt.  All too often, my problems and my worries knock the wind out of me and rob me of my fight.  In all reality I must admit, if my life was an epic tale, there would probably be no young men admiring me and imagining that they could be so heroic.

Why do I fail so often to bravely face life’s difficulties and my failures?  Because I forget that my life is part of and Epic Story!

All too often, I forget that the story of my life is only a small part of the reality of Him.  My view of my life narrows and becomes limited to my years on this earth.  I forget that one day, I will ride in behind the King, surrounded a great host, as he subdues all of His enemies!  I will reign and rule with Him in His Kingdom for 1,000 years!  And when He defeats the final enemy at the end of that 1,000 years, I will dwell in Heaven with Him forevermore!

When I think about that, I realize that every day, every moment in this world is a preparation for (and a part of) this great adventure!  All of a sudden, my problems and worries don’t seem like that big of a deal.  My doubts and fears  no longer hold the same power over me.  After all, I am on the winning side!  Truth shall triumph!

Epic.