The further I get into this year, working for Hands and Feet, the more I am aware of the difference between merely going to work and fully participating in work.
Today at after school we had a field day. There were a handful of water games and relays to get the kids excited and running around. I came in with the idea that I would just explain the games and the rules and then simply watch as the kids played. They would mess up the rules and screw up the game, I would correct them, they would keep going, etc. I would keep my distance, they would play the game, everyone would be safe, everyone would have fun.
Sometimes I think we see God as this kind of leader. The kind that keeps his distance, not wanting to interfere, not wanting to get dirty, not wanting to be there.
It was the moment that I sat down in the “Drip-Drip-Drop” circle with my group of fifteen, five and six year olds, that I thought about how, just as God longs for us to participate in this beautiful life, He longs to be there with us. The whole way. Every game. Every trial. Every struggle. The mundane and the extravagant. Every day.
I sat in the circle, and was chosen shortly after to be the victim of the water pitcher. Completely drenched, I ran around the circle, trying to catch the tiny human who soaked me. I slid back into place, thankful to the kids for forcing me to participate and finally realizing that the more I participate, the more the kids get excited about the game.
I’m pretty sure following Jesus is a lot like this.
We are invited into a crazy, beautiful game. the more our eyes are open and aware of the living God participating with us, the more excited we get. The more comforted we are.
You see, God didn’t place us in this world to watch us screw up. He didn’t put us here to tell us the rules and watch from a distance. He is not annoyed or inconvenienced by us. He is rejoicing in the times we are aware of him participating in life with us. His hands became dirty in this world. His heart became known. He took on our skin. He participated.
Maybe when we notice that God is here, in our lives, participating with us, maybe He gets excited too. I’m pretty sure he does.
So, to people like me, dreading participation, only wanting to keep other people at a distance, missing out on the game:
let us be reminded that sometimes we do get in the way of people knowing God. I don’t want to be this type of person. I want to be someone who fully participates. Everyday. Because we have a God who is constantly involving himself in every aspect of our lives.
May we have the courage to move into the circle, to get drenched in living fully, loving fully, to get drenched in a love that is alive.
Father, drench us. In Your participating love.