Adam did a great job getting us started last week with our One Big Question. Now it’s my turn. For those of you new to the idea, someone posts a question and it gets answered from the whole lot of us. We also love to hear your thoughts in the comments section. So…here’s this week’s question, followed by my response:
Where is your favorite spot,
what is your favorite activity to seek God?
I’m going to shoot it straight with you. What I’m about to write here is stretching the question a bit. I’ve turned it from where is my favorite way to seek God into what is my favorite way to be sought by God. I know. It’s cheap of me. But to be honest, out of everything that my relationship with God encompasses, this really is my favorite part about it. It’s real. Personal. And always exciting.
Friday afternoon, I dropped off my wife for an overnight women’s prayer retreat. I had the little guy for 24 hours on my own. My one mission, keep him alive.
Step one: keep him happy and occupied for an hour before bedtime comes rushing at us with eye-rubs and cranky tears. We swung by the house, picked up our dog, and headed for the park. It had been one of those days where we were in and out of the house a million times and kept having to tell Zeke that he couldn’t join us. We promised him run-around time. This was that time. Let Abe go wild. Release Zeke to go crazy. I was about to be everyone’s favorite Dad. Until we got to the park. The one that I’ve never seen another soul at. The one that I feel fine letting my dog loose at. Not this time. Not with soccer practices gone wild. Folks everywhere.
With a toddler ready to get his feet on the ground and dog in the back itching for adventure, I needed to come up with somewhere to make this happen. Fast. I needed a miracle. I know that sounds ridiculous, but when you stop and think about it, there’s just about nowhere that will allow you the freedom to just let your dog go and still be a safe environment for your son to run around endlessly. I was stumped.
So I said a quick prayer. Pulled up to the stoplight. Couldn’t decide which blinker to turn on. And went straight. Straight into a little stretch of road that led me right to an empty elementary school parking lot and open field. Paradise for the three of us. Answered prayer, in the most beautiful way possible. My God is my God. He is personal.
I realize that last story doesn’t do it for a lot of you. It’s just some simple little circumstance that wasn’t really that big of a deal that somehow turned out all right. But for me, it’s everything. I always say love is in the little things and I believe it with all my heart. Anyone can love big. That kind of love is vague and intangible. Incalculable even. But little-thing-love is toilet-seat-down kind of love. It’s practical and personal. It constantly demands your attention and your affection. It pulls at the best and worst of you. Love in the little things tests your true character.
Will I empty the dishwasher? Rub my wife’s feet? Hold my tongue?
God’s leaving the dishwasher up to me, it seems. And he’s certainly not passing out foot rubs…yet. That’s what heaven’s all about. I think Rob Bell wrote a book about that. Maybe I’m wrong. But…God still ridiculously loves me in the little things. And I love having eyes to see it.
I’ve made major decisions in my life: where to go to college, when to propose, when to marry, where to begin my broadcasting career, whether or not to leave my broadcasting career for full-time ministry, buying a car, buying a house, deciding when to try to have a baby…in all those moments, God was certainly there. But the God that shows up there, the one that gets the most airtime for just out everyone else, is not the God that leaves me shaking my head in wonder. The God in the big things gives me the freedom to drive wherever I feel is best. And I love that about Him. But the God in the little things sends my car straight at the intersection, right down the road to an empty elementary school parking lot and open field.
That is the same God that leads me to the trash can to find my lost keys, that quietly speaks the name “Abraham” as I see the ultrasound of my boy, that leads me away from the drive-thru at a fried chicken restaurant in Kentucky to go back to the church I just came from and ask the guy named “Josh” I met there to come join us for dinner as well. That’s the God that I love seeking.
Like Columbus stumbling upon America, I love getting myself in situations where I recklessly veer off from my plan into God’s party. My waywardness sends me far one way only to be brought back by his constant creativity. By His desire to woo me. I must be frustrating for Him on a regular basis, but at least I give Him plenty of space and opportunity to work His magic.