“Rats,” said one. This was greeted by a delighted chortle from the backseat, where sat the other, smiling at beating her sister this time to thank Dad for the dinner we had just enjoyed at the restaurant. The rules are: you can’t say it until we return home, the driveway counts, first to remember, wins. No prize. Just satisfaction.
Our oldest daughter started this game years ago. But last night, our youngest raced her to the thanks. She must have been primed for the punch because, the second our wheels hit the driveway, out came the: “Thanks for dinner, Dad.” Then the groan from the front seat, admitting defeat.
I had no part in creating this game. It was all them. In fact, last night I was cautioned because I thanked Dad as he signed the credit card slip at the restaurant. That doesn’t count, I was told. You have to wait till we’re home.
At least I can still play, even though it’s my husband I’m thanking and not my dad because we all call him dad. Even me, when the kids are around.
But today I am marveling at the message in this game, created by the kids, refereed by the kids, perpetuated by the kids: the race to thank their father for his generosity to provide a lavish meal, at no expense to them.
What a meal was set for us at a table in a long ago upper room. By His grace, we get to eat it. And we don’t have to wait till we get home to play.
Thanks, Dad, for dinner.
“While living the Christian life is difficult – even risky – what it means to be a Christian is actually simple: we are called to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbors as ourselves.”
“God desires to lead us not dominate us.”
“He is with me to show me his wounds and to heal mine.”
“How did you deal with your own feelings about being late?” “I’ve learned to trust God to take care of it on the other end. Now when, through no fault of my own, I’m running late and have notified others of my dilemma, I’m learning to believe God is at work wherever I am heading.”
“God asks us to learn from our failures and mistakes but not to live in our past pain. We take steps toward newness of life as we daily turn from the temptation of despair and put our hope in God.”
“Remember: God already knows what is in our hearts, so we are not informing the Lord of our cares and burdens when we seek God in prayer. We are laying our burdens upon the Lord so that we no longer need to carry them ourselves.”
“God always waits for us to return.”
“Jesus made a choice to save me from my bad choices.”
“The gift of his magnificent sacrifice and his offer of eternal life gives him pleasure.”
“Great God, help us to see opportunities in obstacles. Lead us by your Holy Spirit that we might act boldly like the apostle Paul. Amen.”
“Never let those cards stop coming. Everyone else forgets.”
Thanks for stopping by in 2014. The Kinesthetic Christian blog will continue with regular posts in the new year. It seems to be the ballast by which God balances the rest of what I do.
Here’s to a productive, God-centered, powerful 2015 for one and all!
The Lake and I played today.
We played peek-a-boo.
We played hide and seek.
We played with crayons, mostly orange.
We played red light, green light.
We played follow the leader.
Which started me singing. Step by step, you lead me. I will follow you all of my days. So touched, was I by this Mom who peeked out from the bushes and, seeing only me, thought it safe to cross. She shuttled the brood – mostly grown – out ahead of her, and then sidled past to lead them down the grassy hill to the stream below.
I am that mother.
Across the planks of that wooden walkway I jogged and sang in her honor until entering the path through the wrought-iron gate marked, “Asbury Trail.” I slowed, and stepped, and looked to the Lake.
There it was, playing. Reflecting the arch of a blackened branch. How lovely, but really not remarkable, but for its moment. It became the still waters of psalmists, long gone and modern day. This moment.
A graying man walking toward me, his little furry friend on a leash, smiled in my direction. I, feeling sheepish because he had first looked to where I was aimed and snapping a photo. Nothing remarkable about that spot or that shot his eyes said. I know, I wanted to say. Just illustrating a psalm here. Having a private conversation in this amphitheater filled with years and tears spent in weathered times, hope and peace, gathered in all times.
I’ve written a book, can you illustrate it for me? the Lake had begged. I obliged. But it was not the Lake who asked. It was the lake’s Keeper.
I’ve written a book, can you illustrate it for me? whispered the Keeper. Not with camera or crayons, simpler still. I want you to illustrate my book. You be the artist for my clay.
I rounded the bend and traversed the goose-poop-laden asphalt of the parking lot. I hurdled and jumped, hopped and cut right and left, till I stood face to face with the Lake. That psalm still churning.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Cup overflows…cup overflows… I’m stuck on cup overflows.
The Lake and I played today.