Monday, December 3, 2012

Lessons From the Playground

Occasionally on Sundays I hang out with my 7 year old friend.  Yesterday was one of those days and we went to the park, which is a favorite thing we do together.  While we were there he met some other kids and they started up a game of tag.  One little girl was one of the youngest in the game and was having so much fun until she was "it".   At first she giggled and chased but when the older kids got away without being tagged again and again, she started to ask someone to please be "it" instead.  As the others reminded her that she needed to tag them first, she finally got frustrated and exclaimed "it's no fun being "it" for this long!  I'm not playing anymore." And she stormed to the other side of the playground.   Her Dad let her stew for a few minutes and then he went over and said, "come on, let me help you tag someone." She came back to play with her Dad by her side coaching her.  She would start to climb up to go over the equipment and he would remind her "you're faster on the ground, don't go over, run around on the ground."  Or he would point out that someone was on the monkey bars and she could run and tag their feet.  She quickly tagged another little girl this way and in her excitement she yelled out, "Now you're 'it'!  Because my Daddy knows a lot about tag! He's really good at it and he's teaching me everything he knows!"  Giggling she ran off to be chased, enjoying the game once more.

I love lessons on the playground.  It made me think of all the times in my life I get locked in to my own way of doing something.  I will try and try my way and eventually walk away in frustration because it's not fun when I can't succeed.  Just like that Dad on the playground, God will only let me stew for a few minutes before he's encouraging me to get back in the game.  He's the one coaching me (and you) on a new approach that may not feel as natural as our own way.  He's the one helping us see the opportunities we've been missing when we're looking at our situations on our own.  

How cool would it be if I could yell out, like that little girl did, my praise to my "Daddy" God?  "I forgive you because my God is really good at forgiving and he's teaching me everything he knows!"  "I'm showing you grace because my God knows everything about grace and he's teaching me!"  "I'm getting really good at loving other people because the creator of love-the one who is love himself-is teaching me!"  

Isn't that what discipleship is really all about?  Living out life with our teacher, learning to see life through our teacher's eyes and then shouting out all the cool things we can do because of Him?  

What's God teaching you right now?  Are you ready to shout it out?

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