Before Finn’s bedtime, we have a pretty regular routine. We brush his teeth. Sometimes he gets a bath. And then we read some books. Of course, he loves books, especially if we love the books.
I’ve learned this about kids. They will love what you love. If you get really excited about something, the likelihood that they will get excited increases substantially. Of course, it doesn’t always work. But it has a pretty big success rate.
Take for example, Dr. Seuss’ The Foot Book. We made a big deal about it. And it’s easy to do. It rhymes. It’s about feet. I have feet. Finn has feet. We can point at our feet! We can laugh. The pictures are great. It’s an easy sale. Left foot! Left Foot! Left Foot! Right!
I wonder if this is true for God too. When we draw close to God, we get excited about the things God gets excited about.
Isn’t that what Psalm 37:4 is all about: “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Simply by spending time with God, and drawing closer, delighting in God, we will begin to love and enjoy the things that God thinks is a big deal. If God loves The Foot Book, we’re going to love it too.
Finn really fell in love with The Foot Book. So much so, that the other night we went to the bedroom to read the book, and he grabbed the book and said, pointedly, “mine!”
Every time I tried to grab it and read it to him—mine! mine!
We didn’t read the Foot Book that night. He wouldn’t let us. He wouldn’t let it go.
He loved the book too much to let it go.
Which is funny and sad, isn’t it?
The thing he loved about the book wasn’t the book itself, was it? It was the reading of the book. The rhymes. The rhythms. The pictures. The time together. That’s what makes the book fun. And that’s something he can’t do on his own.
I sat there amazed: his very love for something was keeping him from enjoying it. His desire to possess it made it impossible for him to enjoy it.
I wonder if this isn’t also bit like spending time with God.
We fall in love with the things of God, and we love them so much, we grab for them. Mine! Mine! And by doing so, we can no longer enjoy them.
We can’t enjoy the things we possess. We can’t enjoy the things of God, if we hold too tight.
I do this with ministry all the time. I love ministry because God loves ministry. God calls me and I get to do God’s work, as we all do. But it becomes something I grab for. I think it’s my work. My book. But ministry, like so many good things in life, can’t be enjoyed with God if they are being held too closely.
I wonder, is there something that you’ve grabbed a hold of, that you would enjoy so much more if you handed it back to God?
I wonder if there’s something you need to let go of?
What are you possessing that is keeping you from enjoying it?