If you’re just joining in on this series, please read the first two parts… it’ll make a whole lot more sense.
I am dad… that’s where we left off.
This is who I am. I am not a rock-star. I am not an epic recording engineer. I am, plain and simple, “dad.”
You may think that I’m over-emphasizing this, but if you’ve been raised in this American culture in this century, then I truly believe that this needs to be drilled into our heads, and walked out in our lives. We are obsessed with making something of ourselves. We are obsessed with celebrity. We’re obsessed with these stupid things that in the end are only vampiristic (is that even a word?) and life-draining from the world at large.
C.S. Lewis said once that it used to be that people were famous because they did something truly remarkable or special. Now, people are deemed remarkable or special because they’re famous.
We exalt illusion.
We crave lies, fiction, false bodies and indulgence.
And more than any of these, we are losing, if not nearly lost completely, the ability to rejoice in the mundane. The day to day has become dreaded, boring, and useless. We have become so addicted to fame, entertainment and media that we have to constantly keep a stream of it coming in to our minds and hearts.
We’ve forgotten how to live. May we look hard at Brother Lawrence.
But it goes deeper than just dad. From Genesis one till now, men and women have been created to be the image bearers of the living God. He never wanted the temple to be confined to a tent or a building, he wants us to be living walking temples. He wants us to be a living vessel where heaven and earth connect, and people can touch eternity.
This is no small task. This is something worth embracing.
My identity as John the young man, John the hot-head, John the rock-star (though that one was always only in my head) is done. It is mine to surrender to become, embrace, and take delight in being John the father. It’s a delight to become a place where the heavens and the earth meet for my little girls to dance and play in this realm where God rules.
If I am done, then He can have full reign here.
And here is where I have some serious stuff to look at. Because I have been going to God in the same compartmentalized manner that I spoke of with our learning in the previous posts. I have the habit, which I’m sure others do too, of going to God, or the scriptures, reading something… dumping. And then I go live my life.
You find some great insight in a devotional, or maybe a passage of the Bible. You go, “Yeah, that was awesome. I needed that.” Then we go put on our other hats. Maybe Dad John, or Office Manager John… but just saying this, you see how messed up this is. I’m not a whole person when I live this way.
When I was young there was a Christian focused record label called “5 Minute Walk” records. They’re hope was to encourage young people to at least take 5 minutes a day to focus on the Lord. I thought that was a pretty neat concept at the time.
But how far gone is that from the eternal intentions of the Father that I mentioned above? No, it just won’t do.
If I am made, as was Adam (whether you believe in the real or metaphorical Adam *man* of Genesis – the thought still stands) then I am made to walk, talk, learn from, and have fellowship with the God of all creation. Again, I am made to be a walking temple, always communing with the heavens, and always with my toes in the grass. A child of God, made to delight in him, be with him.
I AM SON!
I don’t want to live a half life, dumping information about God into my brain, and then running off in the vain and lifeless pursuits of the world. I want to be a true son of the King. The one King. The only King.
And this means losing my identity as all of the other things this goofy world would have me pursue. I am son. I stick close to my father. I do what he does. I love what he loves. I hate what he hates. I dance and play in the realm he creates around me. I explore and learn govern over the things he puts in front of me with the same love and tenderness that he governs over me with.
It is no pain to give up the half-life I would seek as a mere man, to gain the whole and undying life as a child of the king. He came and lived to lead me, as a good shepherd, and then died and rose again to lead me into even further life. He gave to the point of death, and life abounded because of it.
And then I get to do the same for my children.
I give my life, and they gain the world.
I give my identity, and they find theirs in my huge heart that God will only expand.
That’s the trick. . . if you live as the vampires live, nothing but death and selfishness abounds. If you give life, that life-blood, that sacrifice spreads just like those tine mustard seeds that Christ talked about so often.
This is the hope of the whole world
– more to come –