Monthly Archives: April 2011

God and Rutabagas

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Ok, so I’ve discovered that reading the Old Testament, even in my NIV Bible, just isn’t my favorite activity. I think all the killing and gory eye-gouging could have something to do with it. The armies that destroy other armies, the lands that are invaded by locusts, the kings who fall and die inevitable, scary deaths due to their disobedience…

I realized it wasn’t so much that reading about all of this bothered this dainty little flower, after all, I did work in a factory; it was the fact that my Father was really, really mad! I don’t want Dad to be furious! With anyone! Much less me if I do something wrong! These guys knew what they should be doing, yet they didn’t. Even though they knew the One and Only God of Creation was lookin’ in on them! That had to be disappointing to any father.

The world paints a very stern, upset, ugly (if you ask me), demeaning picture of my God. He’s holding lightning bolts, or causing the earth to shake when someone says a curse word. It’s so weird to me, but I have thought back over the years of my personal image of God and it wasn’t much different. I was afraid He’d shake my world up if I said the wrong thing, or didn’t do as He asked. I’d be punished, I’d pay for what I had done! I know now to the very core of my being that it hurts God’s heart when we go against Him. He is loving, compassionate, and honorable. He is an amazing Father! What could we ever do that would cause Him to WANT to hurt us? NOTHING. That’s simply and undeniably not the way He is. It’s not in His nature. Just like for many of us, it’s not in our nature to drive slowly, attend a Kenny G concert, or eat rutabagas. It’s just not who we are. We need to take the time to get to know Him and we do that by reading His Word, even the Old Testament.

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Child’s Play

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Chasing after God, like kids playing Tag on a playground, is an all-consuming task. The individuals involved are focused, unwilling to waver, and determined to meet their goal. When we get wild about Jesus and attempt to get close enough to “tag” God, our lives take an undeniable turn in the right direction. Our focus is on our Father, our “It,” just like an eight-year-old and his target on the playground.

As adults we want to know every detail before we begin, but as children, we never cared about the specifics. We’d play anywhere: parks, schoolyards, backyards, Walmart! We don’t have to be a certain spiritual point in our lives to chase after God. Sometimes I think we want to wait until we know more, until we’re more educated, until we can run to Him more confidently. Hebrews 4:16 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.” We don’t need any credentials or degrees as children of the Most-High God!

Remember “base”? That was the place where we were safe. No one could bother us or tag us if we were in this spot. We’ve accumulated some “bases” in our adult lives: prescription drugs, alcohol, smoking, a critical and judgmental spirit, sarcastic attitude, and our “busy-ness.” The list goes on and on of material possessions, feelings, and addictions that not only keep us in our comfort zones, but dull our willingness to move forward! God delivers us from these things so that we can be unleashed and prepared to hop on track with Him and His plan. We simply have to let Him! After all, the game was always more fun when there wasn’t a base!

Children play Tag because it’s fun and we,need to remember that we do not serve a boring, lackluster King. Our God is ever-present, alive, long-suffering, and exhilarating! The most remarkable element about playing this game with God and chasing after Him is that we don’t come back unfulfilled or empty-handed. He tags us back! There has never been a time in my life where I sought after a relationship with God and I returned from my journey disappointed. Psalm 103:5 tells us that He satisfies with good things. God has always given me something: a sign, a word, a revelation, a connection to someone I have never spoken to before, or simply a “wink” to let me know I’m on the right path and I’m this close to touching the hem of His robe!

Just like a spirited game of Tag, we have the tools we need to chase after our All-Knowing Father. It’s just us and Him! “I will give them a heart to know Me.” (Jeremiah 24:7) We chase after God by spending quality time with Him. “Quality time” does not mean you sit with your Bible on your lap while watching Rachael Ray. We have to close ourselves off from this world, then pray, read what God has to tell us that day, and pray some more. It’s a daily choice to put Him and His mission first on our To-Do lists.

3rd John 1:4 says, “I have no greater joy than to know my children are walking in the truth.” Have you ever seen anyone walk in a game of Tag? Let’s run!!