Life with God in the holidays…

Ethan, Daddy and the SeaLife in the holidays is pretty good, we’ve got through the weirdness of routines changing and are enjoying hanging out as a family.  A lovely perk of being married to a teacher.  Throughout the last few weeks we’ve loved days where friends have come to visit and we can enjoy our city together.  Days of pottering around Brighton soaking up the sun, eating good food, enjoying the beach and generally having excellent chats along the way have reminded me of the sheer genius creativity of our God.

We’ve had a day like this recently with the excellent Binface. We talked about our God, how he’s in all of the beautiful things we’d been able to do that day, how he created them and is glad we are enjoying them. He is glad we are in his world, enjoying his stuff.

We talked of how we’ve grown tired of Christian subcultures that diminish this wonder, that seem to think this life is all about who thinks the right things about God, forgetting that God really can’t be contained in our little systems, he is much bigger than we give him credit for.

I love that life with God isn’t about one particular way of relating to him. I love that life with God isn’t about thinking the correct things about him, that it isn’t about being clear about every tiny detail about who he is and how he works.  Life with God seems to be more about enjoying living in this beautiful world he made, enjoying being a dearly loved child of his and enjoying his crazy grace in loving us and rescuing us. It seems to be about clinging tight to the two or three certainties and living with the wonder and mystery of lots of other things.

So often we Christians have put up fences, locked each other out in an effort to have everything sewn up, we’ve been too concerned with outward stuff and less concerned with being kind, compassionate, gentle, humble, joyful, peaceful, self controlled and loving. We’ve reduced life with God to a one dimensional way of relating to him and made a life with God look like just a list of stuff to do or fail to do each day.

I’m glad God is bigger than us and our silliness. I’m glad he created days where we can eat amazing food, enjoy the sun, have brilliant conversations, play on slot machines on the pier, see skater boys in the park, eat ice cream, drink good wine, sit on the beach, watch a small boy delight in banging stones together, look at big fat clouds hanging in the sky and were we can know that we are known by the Maker of all this.

I’m glad we have a God who cares for the broken, the weary, the ones who can’t summon up the words to articulate some correct theology. He’s a God who is about giving rest to the weary and heavy laden. A God who calls us to come as little children. My son crawls to me when he’s tired and sad, he wiggles around in my arms fighting and then sometimes he rests his head on my shoulder too tired to fight anymore. He gets grumpy and wants my lap, then wants down, then wants my lap, then wants down. I don’t reject him for his fickle nature. I hold him close in my weary tiredness. Thankfully God is a better parent than me. He doesn’t grow weary or tired of loving us, of calling us away from the foolish arguments to come and play in his beautiful world.

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3 Responses to Life with God in the holidays…

  1. Fiona says:

    So absolutely YES! Thank you for these wonderful words. A balm to my weary self! xxx

  2. Phil S says:

    Thanks Kath. Helpful and beautifully put as usual. Here’s the question I have as discussed…

    “We talked of how we’ve grown tired of Christian subcultures that diminish this wonder, that seem to think this life is all about who thinks the right things about God, forgetting that God really can’t be contained in our little systems, he is much bigger than we give him credit for.”

    I feel that and share that to a great extent. But there is a danger, is there not, that in saying that the message which is actually sent is ‘life is all about our particular view of enjoying God in this particular way’ and that _this_ is the only right way of thinking about God. That is, you are implicitly making precisely the same kind of judgement about the ‘theological box tickers’ that you criticize them for making about everyone else. I think I know you fairly well, so I’m sure that’s not your heart in saying that, but the reality is that in our sinful hearts we mostly think that we’ve got it right and everyone else has got it wrong.

    For my own part, it is usually only when I am confronted by the ugliness of my sin that I realise how unreliable a guide I am to anything, and I am thrown back on the unimaginable mercy of our amazing Heavenly Father.

  3. samsteresque says:

    Thanks for this Kath. There truly is something about the busyness of life veiling our senses from the awesome wonder of His creation. Not just in the aesthetic sense, but the tangible reality of all His splendorous works in this world He so lovingly created for our enjoyment. When we’re tired and blinkered, weeks and months can sometimes pass by before we feel His manifest presence by His Holy Spirit. When we finally surrender, and let Him in, we remember He is present and our eyes are well and truly unveiled to all the signs and wonders around us, reminding us of the original design. The challenge for me recently has been in living DAILY to recognise His presence and His love and His desire to have our firstfruits, BEFORE the world and all its trappings come along to take bites out of my God-given time and attentions and affections. Bless you for sharing this, its brought me some conviction and confirmation this morning.

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