Life: Not A Spectator Sport

This morning, around 7:45 am, Hudson was laying in a hospital bed with his little hospital gown on. Thomas the Train was playing on the portable DVD player that he was given when he got to his room. Hudson was all smiles because of the simple fact that we never spoke the words surgery or hurt or pain. In fact, before any of the doctors came in, they gave him the “silly juice” to help him relax and to begin getting drowsy. It obviously didn’t make him hyper, but it did intensify his great feature; his smile. Here he is, not real sure what all was going on, yet, he couldn’t smile any bigger. Even his eyes were grinning from ear-to-ear.

When the apartment is quiet and I stop talking to others, turn on some reflecting Christian music and let God have my attention for a while, I realize that a lot of what I experience in a day, God is using to get my attention. There are lessons I need to learn. The moment that God Almighty is done growing me is the moment I need to run back to wherever it was I left Him. God’s never the one lost.

If I am being sincerely introspective, I pause to wonder if my own “silly juice” is God. I mean, think about it. Sunday morning, I’m all smiles. On Sunday, I feel great. I am excited about life and truly feel alive while worshipping with friends, sharing meals with others, and hanging out with men that struggle as much as I do, but who want to pursue the purpose they were created for. See, I too have key words I hate hearing. Words that cause me to tense up, and cause me to worry and freak out. I am guilty of treating my faith as some happy-go-lucky serum that I apply as necessary. Life is exhausting when there is no purpose in it. And yet, so often times, I find myself fully aware of the purpose for that day, only to turn and walk the other way. And the other way may not be so-called bad, but if it isn’t the path of guaranteed success, how good can it be good.

Hudson made it through his surgery with flying colors. As I carried him up the stairs after returning home, he turned his head sideways and just rested in my arms. And again, I have to ask, “What, God?” I feel convicted tonight. I sense God asking me why I don’t do that anymore. Have I outgrown my father’s hug? I think back about 2 to 3 years ago when my dad came home to help me with my kids when Liz was in the hospital. I vividly remember wrapping my arms around his neck and basically crying months of stress and worry into his shoulder. He held me until I could breathe. How much more does my Creator want to hold me? Unless I am in the middle of a crisis, its like I treat God like as a distant uncle. It has been stated that God wants my everything. Not just my heart or money, or family…He wants it all. For those who have the houses, cars, clothes, jewelry, boats, and vacations, I get how that can be tough to tell God it’s all His and for Him to do as He wishes. But, when most everything has been taken from you, why is that hard to give up? “I’m hanging on y two threads and dang it, those are my two threads!” Come on, Donny. Letting go and not just loosening the grip…losing the control and not becoming a backseat driver; those have to be some pet peeves God has with me.

As I still struggle with where it is God wants me, I am not sitting still on the job hunt. Over the last two to three weeks, I have had several interviews. I will say this, if I am ever in a position to hire people, I refuse to be distant during the interview. No, let me take that a step further. This is something I have to start in my home, then take it with me every day. (I absolutely HATE admitting personal flaws. Gut-wrenching) I want to be “present” in all conversations. It is truly a desire of mine to be a better listener, to be much, much more selfless. I immediately think of the widow in 2 Kings, chapter 4, who was able to pay off her husband’s debtors with the jars she filled with oil. How bad would it have been if God had given her enough oil to fill all those empty jars, but all she did was set them over on the counter, out of the way. What is the point of God growing me, teaching me, surrounding me with incredible people, getting me involved in the right places if I am just going to lean back in a chair and be that sideline spectator.

In a world of competition and of gain, we love to use the words challenge or gauntlet when we are trying to convey some sort of push towards a goal. We want to dare someone to take us on so that we are able to prove our superiority. Not sure that’s God’s approach. I think He is standing before me with two outstretched arms simply asking me, “You ready?” He’s not waiting for loose ends to be tied up. He’s not requiring some sort of background check to come back. I can’t see where He’s taking me, but based on the footprints behind Him, I can tell that He’s been where He and I are headed. And I am walking with the understanding that sometimes, He and I will get to walk with 100’s and 1,000’s of others. But at other times, it will be just He and I. Being as driven by people as I am, I can’t stand hearing that. It makes me want to back out and go where everyone else is. But He’s not asking anyone else to walk this particular path. You ever see the runners before the 200-meter sprint? They’re all kind of bouncing around getting their muscles warm. They sprint 10 yards and walk back. But once they are locked in their starting blocks, even with the crowds all around them yelling, all they can hear is the sound of the starting gun. They’re committed. Before tonight, I was getting warmed up. I knew of a race and knew I wanted in, but hadn’t fully set my feet in place. Now? My fingers are on the ground, next to the white stripe. My left foot is in the back block and now the right foot in its block. Sweat is already dripping from my forehead. “God, fire when ready.”

All this from watching my son and his perfect smile. I told a friend that I thought parenting was me instilling in them the right ways to live. Anymore, it feels like I am the one doing most of the learning.


One Response to “Life: Not A Spectator Sport”

  1. I would like to introduce you to This husband reminds me a lot of you. His wife has brain cancer and he is just trying to raise his kids and make it through the day. I think you guys could really help each other.

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