Which type of pen should I use?

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A debate is raging in the offices here at Westminster. It is particularly fierce in Ed’s office. I know from recent experience that the internal debate is always just beneath the surface, waiting to explode upon the waiting world. And the debate of course is which kind of pen is the best kind of pen?

For me and my household, the answer is clear. I prefer a Pilot G2, specifically a 07 thickness. Every now and again I get twitchy and try something else, but I always come back home. They fill the cup on my desk. There’s always one in my pocket, one in my bag, and one by my bed. They write nice and thick, and when proper care is used they aren’t too prone to smudge. They feel exactly right in my hand, the grip is what I want out of a pen. These guys are the kings of the writing utensil world if you ask me.

Ed hasn’t quite landed on his pen yet. We were at a conference this weekend and the exhibit hall offered a cornucopia of free options, each with different pros and cons. It is remarkable to me how much thought we can put in to an object that will likely be with us all day, and that we will thereafter give almost no thought to at all.

My guess is that you have a drawer somewhere that is just full of pens, something that was tossed aside, a tool that doesn’t often get a whole lot of attention. So what’s so spiritual about pens, anyway?

Right now, I’m in the beginning phases of writing the sermon for this week, which are the worst phases of writing a sermon. On my desk as I type this is a Bible, a pad of paper, and a Pilot G2 pen. The paper is, irritatingly, blank. There is nothing on it yet. I don’t really know where this sermon is going. I don’t know how to get it there. A blank piece of paper is limitless potential, but that’s really all it is.

And yet I know that by Sunday morning at 9:44 AM (hard deadline) it will be filled. Ideas will come, hopefully largely inspired by the Holy Spirit, and this blank piece of paper will eventually be filled with good stuff. Where once there was nothing, there will be a whole bunch of something. Where once there was void, there will be creation.

Maybe this is a little bit too artistic a way to think about this, but I do give it a bunch of thought. God started out with nothing in Genesis, and by speaking created worlds. You and I are created in that image of God who is, well, creative. Which means that if God finds enjoyment in making something out of nothing, so should we. Whether that something is a sermon, or a business model, or a shopping list, we have the ability to open ourselves up to potential and turn originally blank pieces of paper into something beautiful.

So yes, on one level, it’s just a pen no matter how much we agonize over the right one. But on another hand, it’s a tool that has the remarkable ability to connect us with the creative drive of the Divine Father who created us in the image of God. Not bad for a little tube of ink!

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