Colouring as an Aid to Quiet the Mind

Dear Friends,

Many young children enjoy drawing and colouring. As a child I used to enjoy colouring books, but as I grew older these books were laid aside. As I grew up life got busier with schooling, and other things became more important. 

As adults, we have many responsibilities which claim our time and attention - taking care of the home, marriage, children, work, church life etc. We are busy all the time. Rushing from one thing to the next, almost without taking a breath. We even try to multi- task in an attempt to fit it all in. Life can get quite stressful as we try to juggle what needs to be done. Not only are we busy in our bodies, our minds are also often just as busy, filled with worries, concerns, anxieties, fears, lists of things we need to do etc.

In recent years adult colouring books have become more and more popular. Some claim there are health benefits to them, that colouring helps us to de-stress, relax, unwind, calm our minds and reduce our anxiety.

The Bible Society have produced a "Bringing the Bible to Life Colouring Calendar 2017". The calendar has been designed by the artist, Emma Skerrat. Each month there is a new Bible verse to colour.  

I've decided to give colouring a try - why not bring the enjoyment of colouring back into my life? So, this year I'm using the Bible Society's calendar.  This month I've coloured the first verse "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  Genesis 1:1. (I've included a picture of it.) I'm using this time I've set aside, not just to colour but to also use it to enjoy being with God. I am intentional about having a quiet place by removing as many distractions as I can. My mind is quieter whilst I colour.  It is easier to let go of all the unnecessary thoughts, worries, anxieties etc that have filled my mind during the day. Whilst I colour I meditate on the verse I'm colouring and use it as a time to talk with God. Another time I may try having some instrumental Christian music playing in the background. 

Being a calendar, the verse is then on display for me to see for the month. I've placed it somewhere I know my attention will be drawn to it and so help to keep it in my mind. 

I have found it to be relaxing. My mind has been more at peace as I've let go of those things which clamour in my mind for attention, and focused instead on colouring, on God and his Word. This may not work for you, but I have found it an enjoyable and helpful exercise.

If you are particularly creative, within your own quiet time reading God's Word, you might like to ask God to draw your attention to one particular verse, from which you then create your own artwork. As you draw you can meditate on God and what he is saying to you. Journalling Bibles are now available with wider margins on each page specifically for this purpose. You can also find plenty of advice, examples and suggestions online if you are interested. 

We were made by a creative God. We see evidence of his creativeness all around us. I believe he has given us all, in varying degrees, the ability to be creative.

I am trying colouring (as I've said, I'm just in my first month) as a different way to connect with God and have time with him.  It's a way of slowing myself down - both physically and mentally.

I believe that stillness and quietness of mind is an important spiritual discipline to develop. God knows how valuable this is to our well-being. 

Below are just a few verses on this:

"Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him." Psalm 62:5 (NLT)

"Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me." Psalm 116:7 (NLT)

"Be still in the presence of the Lordand wait patiently for him to act." Psalm 37:7 (NLT)

I think the Bible Society may still have some calendars available if you are interested in giving it a try for yourself or you can search online and download free printables of Bible verses to colour.

To Think About:
Set aside some time this coming week to be quiet before God and colour a bible verse ( or create your own artwork based on a favourite Bible verse.

If colouring is not for you, why not try another activity (one which enables you to still your mind) so  you can use the time to meditate on a Bible verse.  It may be painting an Airfix model, knitting, card making, taking a walk or something else.



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