A man planning a vacation wrote to the small town hotel where he wished to stop. “I would very much like to bring my dog with me. May I keep him in my room at night?”
The reply came, “I’ve never had a dog steal towels, bed-clothes, silverware or anything. I’ve never had to evict a dog for being drunk and I’ve never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, your dog is welcome. And, if your dog will vouch for you, you’re welcome to stay here, too.”
We have a choice about our travel companions for life. A good partner will make our journey pleasant and successful. Our trip will be safe and pleasant with the right comrade. And there is strength in numbers. Think of the football players who huddle before and after the game to acknowledge the God who guides their destiny.
I remember my first grandchild. I sat in a rocker and held her for a couple of hours. I was blessed with that time of peace. And I remember being in the park with her a couple of years later. She was playing on the rides when she suddenly stopped and said, “Grandpa, let’s talk.”
And I remember playing a silly game with her on the swings. I would push her and watch how far she would come on the return swing. I would turn my back on her and pretend indifference, telling her not to bump me. Of course she would hit me and I’d go flying with exclamations as she shrieked. Once my measurement was off and she hit me a rib-bruising jolt. My tumble was not as fake as before and my cheers less enthusiastic.
So I nursed a bruised rib for more than a week and reflected on what I had learned. If an earthly grandfather can love a child this much, how much more does our Father in heaven love us, His very creations, and want to be close to us?
So perhaps we should stop once in a while in our busy lives and say, “Abba, can we talk?” In an earlier article I asked, “…will I ignore the gentle nudges of the God that loves me? Will I journey through life with the comfort of Divine companionship? Or will I walk in the dark.
“Jesus is the light of the world; the way, the truth and the life. Who would not choose life?”
Reality can be challenging. Nikos Kazantzakis says to follow Jesus is to “walk in Christ’s bloody footsteps,” that is, to walk inside of mess and failure, misunderstanding and crucifixion, confusion and tiredness, darkness and God’s seeming silence, wondering sometimes if you will indeed find a stone upon which to lay your head.
In Gravity John Mayer sings:
“Gravity is working against me
“and gravity wants to bring me down
“Oh, I’ll never know what makes this man
“With all the love that his heart can stand
“Dream of ways to throw it all away.”
“The world may offer us twice as much, but it ain’t twice as good.” And, lest we miss the point he repeats seven times: keep me where the light is. Just keep me where the light is.