“The resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.” The Apostle Paul – Romans 8:15 MSG
The view out my window is anything but inspiring as it overlooks a gravel parking lot beyond which rises a plain white cinderblock storage building, the large, backlit yellow sign above the red awning advertising ‘Keep Safe’, and assuring the valuable junk within will be stored in a ‘climate controlled’ environment. I’m sitting in a small hotel room in Louisiana, having spent the last few days out of town on business. Not a very inspirational place, but that’s sometimes where we find ourselves. I love how The Message words that verse, describing the Christian life as “adventurously expectant”. Like the life of a child where everything is new and unexpected and wonders never cease. How hard it is to come back to that place with God and life as an adult in this world of fluorescent lights, LED screens, WiFi, and smartphones. Our lives are in constant motion, music blaring, talk radio shouting, tv drowning out real thought. This whole world seems bent on distracting us from personal reflection and true relationship. This hotel room for instance. It has a clock/radio, tv with cable, and free wifi. Perfect for surfing the internet, clicking through endless channels of nothing on, and if you tire of all that listening to music or talk radio to drown out the terrible silence.
So how do we get back to the childlike way? I think it begins with silence. I think it begins with the real. Turn off the radio and tv. Turn off your phone and computer. Go outside and take a walk alone. Sit quietly for a long time on your back porch and take in the sounds and smells God has created. Immerse yourself in the touches, tastes, sounds, and scents of what God has made and give him thanks for all of it. Intentionally abide with God alone in the world he created. Then, as Paul says, “know who he is, and know who you are: Father and child.” Not in a formal sense, but as in an adventurously expectant “Papa? Daddy? What’s next?” Alone with your Papa, as his beloved child quiet your soul and still your thoughts. Allow the warm embrace of his perfect love to enfold you. A love which keeps no record of wrongs. A love which invites. A love which is shared. A love from which nothing can separate you. The love of a doting Father on his favored child, who’s eyes shine with delight in the everyday things you do. A Daddy who is pleased just because you are his child, a pleasure borne on the wings of your birth. Delighted because you are, and you are his. Look around you in silence at what God has made and know that you are more important to him than any of it. Reach up with childlike trust as his warm hand enfolds yours and let this Truth fill your heart, soul, and mind as he leads you on new adventures. Do this often, and the counterfeit life this world offers will fade into insignificance like forgotten toys and you will find wholeness in the comforting presence of Papa.