I was making an Advent wreath for my classroom this morning out of paper, cardboard and some green tissue paper that I found in a storage box. As I searched for an orange crayon to color in the flames of my candles, I came across one that kind of looked orange – but not quite. So I read the label. “Atomic Tangerine” is what it said.
Atomic Tangerine. Not far away on the Crayola spectrum I also found Plum and Periwinkle.
Now, I admit it’s been awhile since I’ve worked with crayons on a regular basis. When exactly did we move so far beyond the boxes limited mostly to the primary colors? The days when purple and violet were cutting edge?
I’m not saying this explosion of the color spectrum into uncharted territory is a bad thing. Who knows what wondrous paintings artists of the past might have come up with if they’d had Atomic Tangerine on their palate. (Imagine what Edwin Munch could have done with that color in “The Scream”)? The more technologically proficient we become as a species the more opportunitites open before us to exercise that power of Imagine and Creativity which is one of our most glorious characteristics.
It’s just difficult for me to know where to start. If past precedents hold true, no sooner will I become adept at working with Atomic Tangerine than I’ll open a box of crayons containing a crayon lableled “Sub-Atomic Tangerine”. How do I keep my bearings in a world that changes so rapidly?
One thing seems clear. Rather than making religious faith obsolete, this rapid pace of technological development gripping the globe makes God more important in my life than ever before. Who better to help me through such bewildering and disorienting times than a Being who a)cares deeply for us and b) lives outside of space and time – and, therefore, has probably been joyfully sketching with Atomic Tangerine for eons.
Maybe it’s time for me to add a few new shades to the primary colors in my spiritual crayon box. Today, Atomic Tangerine. Tomorrow, Celestial Blue?
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)