I sat on my couch to read a book that a friend recommended to me, and didn't get one paragraph in before my daughter wanted to read too. Knowing the lack of pictures would not hold her attention, I still picked her up and placed her in the pocket between my arm and side, a perfect spot designed by God to keep your children while reading or watching TV or just simply to hold them.
Well, it wasn't long before she started bending the book in half, and so I had to set her down. I finished the forward and felt a little guilty about choosing a book over her in that moment, and so I put the book down and picked her up to place her again in that magic pocket for some cuddle time. I'm not too much of a man to admit that the world "cuddle" makes its way into your vocabulary when you have a daughter, and will freely admit that sometimes I just want to hold my daughter in a warm, fatherly embrace and do nothing else. This could have been one of those rare "cuddle" moments, but Ellie wanted nothing to do with it! She was off and climbing the couch, looking for the book or my coffee cup or anything else to fill her rampant curiosity.
And that's when it hit me: we're just like that with God.
I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. - 2 Corinthians 6:18
The bible says that God is love. It says that God loves us. John was the disciple whom Jesus loved, not the most studious or best evangelist or least sinful. Love is all throughout scripture and yet, most of my efforts as a follower of Christ are not to foster that love relationship with God, but to do, to act, to accomplish. To try for God. I labor and meditate on my labors, spending most of my thoughts on writing great stories or songs, and even blog posts. If not that, I am thinking about whether or not I should go surfing or skating and that video I've been working on...and then writing a blog post about it!
In my best moments, I'm dreaming about a future of churches and ministry, speaking and writing to edify the church and glorify God; but it all falls back to my efforts and my endeavors, trying to accomplish something, anything, to find fulfillment in this life.
And all God wants from me is to cuddle.
For my daughter, reaching and grabbing to fill her curiosity is paramount to any and everything else. If she sees an object she wants, woe to whoever or whatever may step in her way, because she will fight the tide to get it. But I know, as her father who is more experienced and cares for her, that whether or not she plays with the book or spills my coffee all over the table, it's not as important as she thinks. I can give her the book instead of her climbing Mount Couch to get there, and that would be easier for everyone and certainly less dangerous. But I'm not going to, and it's because, at that moment, I believe it's more important to hold her and love her. After all, who knows how many moments like that we'll get?
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,but few things are needed—or indeed only one.Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
- Luke 10:38-42
So when you're out there conquering the world and changing lives, remember that, more than anything you can accomplish, God wants your love and to love you. So let Him. The world will be there when you're done, and you'll be better equipped to take it on after a restful embrace with your Heavenly Father.