So if you know me at all or have read even a short part of my Healing Hereafter ebook series, you’ll have picked up that I’m kinda Type-A and like to have things neatly arranged and thought out. But tonight as I contemplate what topic I might want to meticulously dissect and organize, the only idea that comes to mind is politics, and quite honestly, who wants to hear about that right now?!? So I’m gonna go a different route into uncharted waters and just write whatever the heck comes to my mind. The purest form of self-expression? The most real, raw Jason Dykstra you’re ever going to get? You be the judge of whether or not my inner Type-B should ever rear its head again!
So right off the bat-or more commonly pool-noodle lightsaber in our house-everything has been Star Wars this or Stars Wars that. I come home from work fully expecting (and getting) an immediate invitation to a battle against my 3 year-old Obi-Totobi (6 syllables is way too much for a toddler) and my 6 year-old Darth Vader or Luke “Tywalker”, depending on if he feels naughty or nice. Then comes 15 minutes of knees, fists, Bantha-mounting, elbows, bum rushing, and force-beam convulsions (I’m pretty good at those) before I’ve decided I’ve “lost enough hearts” to go on. Then 10 minutes more, and I’m begging to be thrown down the Death Star’s bottomless pit. Then my wife waits 5 more minutes just for fun and finally calls us to dinner.
So far neither side of the force has claimed my liver, spleen, ribs, or special parts, and I have yet to require a robotic arm replacement. But as much as I love wrestling around with my little Jawa-Jedis, it’s the kind of love that hurts. Any parent (hopefully for your sake!) has learned the art of “Oh, you hit me with your couch coma ray, and I’ll be out for at least 5 minutes!” trick. And any parent also knows that trick only works once and for maybe 2 minutes. But we either gotta stop the battle or let it rage without us or there’s going to eventually be some serious badness. After all, I really like my spleen!
Which brings me to the revelatory epitome I was hoping would finally hit me amongst my Lucasian (well, now Disneyan) ramblings. As with just about every other interaction between parent and child, it has just dawned on me how this one also informs this father about my Father. Our Father if we so desire Him to be. For millennia his children have been little Jawa-Jedis, sometimes naughty, sometimes nice, but always pummeling him with jabs, nudges, and outright blunt trauma that are hard to distinguish as playful, mischievous, or downright dirty. His continuous battles with those he ceaselessly cares for has left him with beatings, scars, and a three-day shindig in Sheol, but he returned then and still does to allow the battle to continue.
Why? For the same reason I do and perhaps you do. Not for the battle or the pain, but to be with the ones He wants to be with. Acts 17:26-27 tells us God created us to perhaps reach out for Him and find him; our purpose here is literally to engage him. Of course, because our imperfect choices often make that engagement a conflict instead of a coffee date, we will deal him some damage. But His purpose for us is and always has been to have us engage him nonetheless (Click to tweet). The hard part of that for us (and Him) is that he also needs to either stop the battle or get completely out of it to eventually end the badness. But if he stops it, he must also either stop the engagement or stop our ability to freely engage as we will. In other words, he either keeps us from accomplishing our purpose or forces us to do so the way He wants. Alternatively, he gets out of the battle completely and let us decide for ourselves whether we’re getting out with Him or staying in without Him.
My kids have discovered that lightsaber battles without dad are never as much fun, there is no one to wipe the tears away when they inevitably hurt each other, and we all miss out on the whole purpose of the engagement in the first place: to end the battle together in a big heap of happiness. Sound familiar? “God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain…whoever is thirsty, let him come.” (Revelation 21:3-4, 17). I am literally thirsty to turn the battle into bonding with my boys; how much more so with God! If we are thirsty to be with God-as our God-let us choose to end the battle the way were created to: together with our Dad (Click to tweet).
And if you see them, tell my kids to be gentler to their aging Jedi Master.
There’s so much more to this purpose God has for us, the one wonderful way it is achieved, and why it makes sense. Explore answers to many questions about these topics in Healing Hereafter…it’s free! Download instantly right here.