Originally posted on Facebook 9/3/2019
It’s becoming clearer the moments when I’m living for God, and those when I’m simply living.
The latter is easy to slip into. Like a kid distracted by the waves of the beach, the current quietly pulls me further and further along the shore until I find myself alone and lost. Maybe I had my guard up for the rip current, but not for the every-day-calm-waves discretely leading me from my Father.
My son is prone to this when we visit the beach. 100% safe, but 100% getting far from our chairs, over and over. He wasn’t trying to be disobedient; in fact, he had no desire to be away from me. However, the fun, and noise, and movement, and busyness, and distraction of the waves carried him; fully safe, but increasingly far.
And I, trying to be a good father, never stopped watching him. I let him play; I knew there would be a joy in a freedom where I wasn’t dictating his movement in the surf. I instructed him on what was safe, what was best, including remaining close to me; but he is old enough now that I don’t have to hold his hand in the calmer surf.
I watched as he joyfully played. I watched as the current quietly pulled him, without him knowing it. And I called him back. Over, and over. Calmly, usually; loudly when he was getting too far.
And when he would come back to me, it wasn’t a punishment, it was simply what was best, and he knew it. And when he was with me, it wasn’t restrictive; in fact, we’d play together in the surf.
And then he’d see a new wave. He’d duck under or jump over it. He’d forget me for the ocean. And he’d slowly drift.
I know my Father is good. I know His call is not restrictive. I know, with Him, is abundantly more than I could ask or think. And I know life, like the ocean, is vast and distracting. I know I don’t notice when I begin to drift.
But I know my Father is always aware, always watching. And when He calls, I will joyfully swim back.
He called — for the thousandth time — today. And the simple act of returning to Him — no matter how non-spectacular — always yields something special. Today was full of gifts from God… some simple, some longed-for, some randomly fun… and I am grateful that He is a good God.
Tomorrow I will try to keep my eyes on Him, while knowing I’m “prone to wander”, prone to float away; and when I do, He will call, and I will answer.
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