“We need to go back to the drawing board”. This is a common phrase we hear around the office when something we have tried doesn’t work, or there has been a shift in the business plan, or when the numbers don’t add up, or when the competition just trumped us. We also use the phrase when are trying to figure out a problem with a team or person and everything we have tried comes up short. So, what we do is we “go back to the drawing board”. The drawing board is where the early creations happen. The term comes from the a draftsman’s large sketch board where ideas, schematics, pictures could be drafted and then torn off and thrown away without worry of wasted material or permanency. Usually these were large boards that were on easels or pedestals and you would stand up to work on them like standing at an artist’s canvas. They were the precursor to a chalk blackboard or a modern day white board. The beauty was that you had the piece of paper to take with you to show others or to rip off and throw away (in frustration many times) as you were forced to go back to the drawing board once again. The imagery of having to go back to the drawing board again and again after unsuccessful attempts to try and achieve the task at hand is one that conjures up for me the feelings of not only frustration but ones of failure, helplessness and anxiety. If you have ever been told by your boss that you “need to go back to the drawing board”, you know what I am talking about. That may be where you are today with a part of your job or career that you are trying to figure out. You have been at the drawing board multiple times but all that comes up is a blank piece of paper. I was struck by a verse in the book of Hebrews that tells us exactly the drawing board that we should approach when we need to figure out the most complex of complex problems. In Chapter 4:16 it says; “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” There is the drawing board of all drawing boards, the throne of God! We only have to step up to the throne to accept God’s mercy and grace to help us through our problems and challenges. The answers and the full design for our work and our lives is already there waiting for us if we will only take that step towards the throne and look upon the drawing board that God has filled out for us. The next time you hear the phrase “let’s go back to the drawing board” you can know that you have a supreme drawing board that you can approach not with frustration, worry or anxiety but with assurances, hope and promise.
Reference: Hebrews 4:16 (New Living Testament)