"Teach me to play, Abba!"
I don't know about you but I am a perfectionist. If I can't do something well - by my standards - then I don't want to try it at all. This spills over into my relationship with God. As you can see from my last entry, God is really working on me in this area. He wants to free me up from my striving - the constant rule following - so that I learn to have fun with Him! So this morning, while I sat there, He gave me a little insight into Karrie, one of His precious children.
Karrie is a very conscientious child. She trusts cautiously. She is fiercely loyal. She comes into her Father's house quietly. She doesn't want to bother Him. Karrie tries very hard to not bring messes into His house. After all, she doesn't want to make more work for her Father. Her Father is always glad to see her but often she misses His hearty "Come on in, Babe!" because she is preoccuppied with entering carefully and respectfully. She's a quietly happy child but so serious! She's in such a hurry to grow up that she's missing out on the joys of the journey. She sees others playing but hesitates to join in the fun. What if she got sidetracked from her responsibilities?
So, this morning, Karrie sat down with the Father and they opened His Great Book. She wanted to read one complete story this morning. She was eager to really learn. To hear a "word". He asked her if she wanted to crawl up on His lap to read the Book rather than sit at His feet. That sounded like a comfortable place to sit! The story came from Galatians. How Christ came to atone for her sins and to save her and make her more like Him. It said that He did this to deliver Karrie from this present wicked age. It said that there were enemies who slipped in to spy on our freedom in Christ so that they could again subject us to the bondage of rules. The Father told her that He loved all of His children equally. He didn't love the older ones more. He didn't love the boisterous ones less than the quiet ones. He finds great delight in each and every one of His kids. He even assured Karrie that just like He had done for Peter and Paul, He would always motivate her and fit her for her life's mission. He would ensure she worked efficiently because His Firstborn, Christ, would be working through her.
Then Father did something unexpected... He put the Book down. What was He doing? They weren't finished reading the "story". He asked Karrie if she wanted to play now. Play? Now? Weren't they going to finish reading? He told her that they could put a bookmark in where they had left off. He knew exactly where to pick up from later. Wouldn't it be fun to be tossed up in the air by her Daddy and spun around? There may not seem to be some deep, intellectual lesson in it, but even He delights in playing sometimes. He delights in hearing, "again, Daddy! Do it again! Again!"
Karrie, she - I slowly hopped down off His knee and took hold of His Hand. I followed in the edge of His shadow as He led me away from our "spot" to a place with room to play. "So, what do you want to play?" How could I answer that? I really don't know how to "play". But, I love to sing! I love to dance - but it's been a long time since I've done that. Wouldn't you know it? The Father God of all the Universe loves to dance too! We turned the Ipod up really loud! And what started as cautious steps soon became wild, exuberant dancing! There was no thought to what might be "right" steps. I spun around in circles until I was dizzy! I sang along to the songs not worrying about words as Daddy clapped and kept time. It was such fun!
Suddenly, I realized that my son was standing there watching his mommy - spinning and dancing - babbling! I told him that everyone enjoys a little praise dancing now and then! I didn't even stop at that point. It had been so long since I had really played! Besides, I delight in watching my own kids play. I want them to know by experience that life with God is full of play and fun! I want them to know no greater delight than to be sitting on His knee one minute and tossed up into the air the next! To be caught by His strong arms only to say, "Again, Daddy! Do it again!" Perhaps, my son thinks I'm strange - probably not. He knows what it is to play. He may even start to see me as a fun parent - if I play often enough :)!