I’ve been thinking lately about the lack of space in my day for necessary unimportant things like, reading, sitting, and playing games. There’s always something to do – whether it’s school related, work, home or yard related, something requires attention, NOW!
At a pause in my homework duties (I’m responsible for math and science while Jeanni makes sure books are read and spelling is correct), I went over to where Jille was quietly playing. She had Christian’s cars lined up neatly in rows separated by gender. For example, a fire truck was a boy and a corvette was a girl (we are in deep trouble when she turns 16). Since I was not needed with homework, and I’ve been feeling the need to linger, I sat down with Jille. We talked a bit while absorbed with separating the ‘sheep from the goats’. The minute I reached over to pick up a car both children cried out, “Don’t touch the cars!”
“Don’t disturb my system.”
“Don’t disrupt my neatly arranged world – and don’t tell me that particular vehicle is not what I’ve already labeled it as.”
“Glad you’re here on the floor with me. Glad even for your interest in what I’m doing – but don’t get too involved…I might have to change something.”
“Don’t touch the cars!”
Not all that different from what I say to God on a regular basis, I think. The work has been long and steady, I’ve arranged everything into neat rows and even did my Adamic task of naming the elements in each row – then God seems to plop down on the carpet and there goes my equilibrium. Why can’t he just be content to watch and admire from a distance? Why not cheer me on from the bleachers rather than right next to me like a coach?
“Don’t touch my cars!”
This idea of God sitting on the carpet playing cars stirs me. It’s too easy to keep God ‘out there somewhere’ or dabble with the contemplative idea of finding God within. But embracing God with me… it’s rather overwhelming. Maybe this points to an earlier post where I mention a friend who said, “Maybe we don’t relate well with God because we don’t relate well with each other.” Maybe it’s as simple as the fact that the older I get the less I feel I know about how to be a good husband, father and friend.
I think, too, that something within me assumes that if God is actually up close and personal life will be a bit smoother. Kinda like the Israelites who wrongly assumed that because the ark of the covenant was ‘with them’ in battle victory was inevitable. Instead, my experience of God on the carpet with me is almost always dis-equilibrium. I have to take Him into account. He commands my attention – even while I’m yelling, “don’t touch…”
My other assumption, arrogantly so, is that the disruption is not productive. After all, aren’t I suppose to get that pile of stuff properly administrated and properly filed? Aren’t I suppose to get that lecture, sermon or article polished? Why give me gifts and passions only to bury them under things I’m neither good at or even enjoy? Are you sure you know what you are doing? Don’t touch…you might mess things up!
Yet, under all the fuss and fuming, something else is at stake. Sure, I don’t like dis-equilibrium, but nor can I tolerate an apparent distance between us when I tell Him to back off…even just a little. The distance, if only a few centimeters, is too much to bear. I want Papa on the floor with me. Something deep within yearns to experience Him in my world – playfully, strongly, warmly, with a twinkle in his eye. And while something in me trembles at the thought of disrupted plans, I must face the fact that the fear is really based upon the assumption that He will only touch and go not touch and stay…with me.
Yet, He does touch and stay… because He knows what every father knows and more so. Only our flesh wants less love – the kind of love that can only admire from a distance. We want Papa on the floor with us. We long for that kind of intimacy. We want to be on the floor with Him playing cars…together.