“The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt is a great read for kids… and probably an even better read for those of us that act like kids.
I have often said that the books that I read with my kids mirror certain circumstances in my life. This particular story is the story of a boy’s box of 12 crayons. The boy (Duncan) pulls out his crayon box in class one day and finds a stack of letters addressed to him. Each crayon has written a letter to file their grievances with their owner.
Red is upset because he feels overused. He colors everything and even has to work on holidays (specifically, Christmas and Valentine’s day). Purple is upset because Duncan can’t seem to color inside the lines. Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to brown. Gray is tired of coloring huge animals like elephants and rhinos all by himself. White feels ’empty’ because ‘without a black line’ you wouldn’t even know that he was there. The bellyaching continues through the black, green, yellow, orange, blue, pink and peach crayons. (Side note: Green is actually content with his work load but is upset because yellow and orange are bickering about which one is the actual color of the sun.)
It’s a quick, entertaining read with a great message. Imagine that God comes to you with an assignment, lets say, for your extended family. God knows in his perfect understanding that no one can test you like your family does, and your response is like the red crayon- “I have to do EVERYTHING. I even have to work the holidays!” (Truth!) Or maybe He’s dropped the thought in your head about breaking into the mission field, but you feel like the gray crayon “It’s so vast- how can I do that by myself?” Or maybe you’ve given up on your assignment because you can’t stand all the bickering around you. The peach crayon is sad because Duncan has peeled all of his paper off and he feels naked– maybe you just don’t like what you see in the mirror and you’ve put life on ‘pause’ until you fix it.
I know that we get tired, but we can’t lose steam. God needs faithful women that will raise faithful families, run faithful businesses, be faithful employees, and turn this world upside down. We each have a part to play in God’s kingdom. Our sphere of influences do not look the same- that’s intentional. Our assignments are not the same. You are tailor made for the life that God has given you. Duncan resolves his issue by literally thinking outside the box and using each color in a unique way. There will always be an excuse that will enable you to do nothing. Don’t listen to it– use up every crayon in your box!!