Friday, November 21, 2008

A Walk in the Woods

I took my two boys for a walk in the woods a few days ago and was completely blind-sided by God. As we walked, dodging limbs and briers, stepping over fallen trees, and crunching through the Fall leaves I was ravaged on my insides by the actions of my four year old.

As we walked around admiring God's creation I was struck by how enthralled my oldest son was by the colors and beauty of the leaves. He dashed around from tree to tree completely engulfed by looking at and describing each leaf's own intricacies. He would call out from this tree, "look daddy, this one is bright yellow with spots of red." Then from another, "wow, this one is dark red, but it also has brown polka dots." These words describe the actions that continued for the next 30 - 45 mins. I could barley get him out of the woods. By God's grace it began to drizzle or I think we would still be there. During this time of watching my son's amazement, I was able to talk with him about how God had made the leaves and that he loves it when we enjoy them. As I talked to my son about God, God talked to me about my heart, and how I was currently being rebuked, unintentionally, by the actions of a four year old. The thought that kept running through my mind was the fact that it has been years since I have looked at any of God's doings with this kind of amazement and found this much joy in God.

God has called me into a relationship with him, not just for my salvation, but also for the fulfillment of my life. "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10) This verse does not speak of material wealth and prosperity, but of the joy that is only found in a God who loves me completely. And more importantly His redemption for me is ultimately for His glory. But, because of the greatness of our God our full and complete joy is found in our glorification of Him, because that is our created purpose. Our ultimate happiness is found in the giving up of ourselves and the taking on of the cloak of righteousness that is placed on us by Christ alone.

After pondering on these things throughout the rest of that day I realized that I had allowed my growth in Christ to become a burden. Just another list of "to-do's" that I needed to check off. But this thought and feeling toward my sanctification flies in the face of God and his desire for our relationship. A few days after our walk in the woods, my four year old come upon another leaf is his grandmother's yard. Again with the same excitement he poured over the look and feel of the leaf and then turned and said, "Daddy, I need to keep this leaf to remind me that God made the leaves, and that I need to enjoy them." I pray that I would rekindle and hold to the excitement and joy in God that my son as showed in his amazement of these leaves. I must begin everyday with God's word, it must become my leaf that I need to keep that reminds me that I was made for God's glory and that my glorification of Him is where I find my eternal joy and purpose.

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