They were happy on the sofa enjoying one of their last summer pajama days and their adventuresome mother has donned her tennis shoes, baseball hat and says in her best Carol Brady voice,
“Come on kids. Let’s go on a picnic!”
Maybe my happy-voice will make it sound appealing.
Moans. Groans. Writhing under the blankets in front of cartoons. They raise their voices in a communal wail.
“Hey. I’ve packed a lunch. You can bring your bikes and we’ll bring a Frisbee to toss in the field.”
It doesn’t matter that its noon, that they’ve luxuriated on the sofa for more than 3 hours. It doesn’t matter that I’m ready to get out of the house for a little while, that this Mama is going a bit stir-crazy today.
After some prodding and a few minutes, I manage to move them from the living room to the car.
I often think that God gives us children so that we have a tiny glimpse into what its like to be Him, all the pains, griefs and joys that go along with being responsible for little people. We must love like Him, we must teach and discipline like Him and we also, I think, feel something of what He does when our resist what is best for them.
About 20 minutes into our walk I realize we’ll have to walk a bit further to find a proper bench in the shade.
“I’m HOT Mama!”
“I don’t want to walk any more!”
“Is it over yet?”
I look back along the little road at my girls. The sun is high in the sky and the graveled footpath is worn. I’m carrying an unthrown Frisbee. I’m holding an untossed ball. And the two are fighting.
One is trying to run the other over with the bike. The other is screeching. Neither is laughing. This whole endeavor seems like a failure.
And I shake my head.
They haven’t noticed any of the wildflowers. Or the puffy clouds. They haven’t noticed the deep grass, green with the end of summer.
Maybe in some shallow, narrow way this is what Jesus sees when he watches us argue. We don’t see the journey. We don’t welcome the adventure of living. We don’t want to play. All we want to do is fight. And complain about the heat.
And when we’re fighting or complaining we can’t take part in the adventure.
My story isn’t going to end well. They never did find the puffy clouds and we didn’t lie in the field and close our eyes to the summer like I’d envisioned. We didn’t laugh as we threw the ball across the grass or race to the end of the lane.
None of it.
We just went home.
I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to be the person who hasn’t chased after God’s “frisbees” or accepted all of His invitations to adventure. I don’t want to be the girl who keeps complaining that the journey is hard, so much so that I fail to find the adventure in it.
I want to notice the wildflowers, but not just here in the open space, but in my capital J-Journey. I want to fall back on the grass and close my eyes to the end of summer and realize the adventure that is being handed to me like a beautiful gift.
Have you been invited on an adventure? Have you said yes?