I never want to be pushy about religion. I think that runs more people off from it than brings them to it. But I’ve started journaling to myself about things. I’m changed whether other people accept that or not. And I like it. So, if the changes are for the better……why would I keep them to myself? Because you might not think I’m as fun (well you’re wrong, I’m still very fun and cool)…….because you’re scared I’ll stand on the table tops and shout hallelujah and condemn you to hell if you don’t believe like me (I won’t – I’m scared of heights, and the top of a table counts). This journey is still new to me so I have no room to pretend to be an expert. But I can share what happens along that journey right? And given the opportunity or an open door by anyone, I’ll GLADLY share more about what I’ve discovered, what I feel, and what I know without a doubt.
The most surprising thing people seem to learn about me lately is that I am a small group leader for elementary kids at my church. I have a group of sixth graders and a group of first graders that I spend every other Sunday morning with. I’ve actually been doing it for about a year. AND I LOVE IT. But lately, I truly have walked away from each session with them teaching me the lesson……which is what happened today.
One of today’s activities was for me to give each kid a Styrofoam cup and a ping pong ball. They were to place the cup on the floor and bounce the ball into it. If they didn’t get it in the cup, they were to keep trying until they did. The point was to convey to them that with God, we always have a second chance…..or even third or fourth. HE knows we will stumble…….we know we stumble. It’s a personal choice to go to HIM with our stumbles, be sincere in our repentance and make our minds up to do everything in our power not to make the same mistake again.
The sixth graders were the first group this morning to try this exercise. They sat their cups down and backed up to start the challenge. One by one they started bouncing their ping pong balls and quickly became frustrated because they couldn’t get the ball in the cup. There were no restrictions given to them. I was glad to see them move closer to the cup, almost standing over most of them. But it was when Caleb changed his approach that I was overwhelmed…….it just clicked.
Caleb finally in so much frustration at not getting his ball in the cup, got down on his knees and lowered himself to the cup. Sure, he had made it in about three times prior to this after he had started moving closer to the cup. But, it was when he got on his knees, focused on the cup and “bounced without ceasing” that he started making it literally one right after the other. I think he made it a total of 12 times before the time was up.
As simple and obvious as this exercise was, sometimes those are the lessons that get through to us the most. Jesus is the Styrofoam cup. Too many times, we stand holding the ball and throw it at the cup from as far away as possible. We don’t want to get to close because of all the stigma’s attached…..if I am too close, I will lose friends. I will be made fun of. I wanna throw him a ball every now and then but not deal with all the other stuff that goes with it. Or, I only wanna throw at him what I think I can’t handle on my own.
But if we move closer, we start to see the ball go in the cup more. And let’s not kid ourselves, when we are given a challenge, and we succeed at it or see good come from it…..it creates an amazing feeling within and only makes us want more of it. The closer we get to Jesus, the more times the ball (our problems, prayers, etc) are answered.
However, as great as all that is…..nothing is as great as when we get on our knees. That’s what it took for Caleb to get the ball in the cup this morning. And that is simply what it takes for us to get through anything. Good. Bad. Ugly. Sometimes, the only place to get it right, is on our knees.
I’m chronically praying in motion. In the shower, at the stoplight, even in the bathroom at work. Rarely am I ever still. But I can say with more conviction than I can portray on this page that the moments I finally literally got on my knees and gave it to HIM are the moments that I cherish the most and when I feel the most work being done in me.
So you don’t believe like me…….or you don’t get what I’m saying. That’s fine. I have no idea if anyone will read this much less relate to what I’m saying. But if you’re at a place in your life where you honestly don’t know what to do next, or you think there is nowhere to go, or you don’t believe there is an answer………then get on your knees. Even if you don’t know him. Just go there…..get down there ask Him to show up, tell him you don’t know him but you figure you’ll give it a try……say exactly what is on your heart (He created you, so he knows how to relate to you)……there is zero formality to it and no right or wrong way to say it……just do it, and then listen. I promise no matter what….you’ll get up differently.