A playful relationship
My wife and I welcomed two new members into our family in December. Frankie and Cooper are two lively labrador puppies that love to play. They keep us entertained for hours on end, constantly demanding our attention with their playful nature.
Richard Rohr speaks about our relationship with God as a divine dance. I love this analogy. It implies that our relationship with Christ can and is meant to be playful. As Christ-followers, we are able to be playful with God just as our labrador puppies are with us.
We try to take our puppies to a field near our house on most evenings for them to stretch their legs and play fetch with us. They are usually well-behaved and return to us when we call them.
However, this past week, while we were playing at the field, a group of people cycled past and our dogs got completely distracted from us. They chased after the cyclists and no matter what we tried to get their intention, they would not listen. Within seconds, they were not only out of earshot but out of sight as well.
How often do we get distracted from the playful, loving relationship that Christ invites us into?
There are periods of our lives when we feel in tune with God's voice. When God says sit, we sit. When God says stay, we stay. When God says follow, we follow. At other times, something comes along that completely distracts us from God's leading in our lives. We chase after the distraction until we can no longer see or hear God calling us back to play.
The problem with distractions is that they are usually flashy and exciting at first but they do not satisfy us for very long. After a short while, our puppies returned to us at their own accord. I would like to think that the initial excitement that the distraction offered was not as great the love and care that our puppies know that they will receive from us. The problem is that if our puppies had followed the distraction for too long, it would have been much more difficult for them to find their way back to us, no matter how hard we searched for them.
We need to be careful to not let our distractions carry us too far away from God so that it makes it difficult to return to the One who best knows how to love and care for us.
I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.- 1 Corinthians 7:35 (NLT)