So tonight I had to take my cousin-in-law to her softball practice. Because of the price of gas and the distance involved I decided that I'd just sit in the car and read while she practiced. I sat there in our car under a shade tree reading more of Donald Miller's book Searching for God Knows What and witnessed something that caused me to think.
While I was diving into my book out of the corner of my eye I spotted a small boy that I had saw running around the open area. It seems like only yesterday that I was him. I was the boy that was able to run around with nothing to worry about. He had no student loans to repay or to worry about moving across the entire country. The only thing he had to worry about was staying out of trouble...which he obviously didn't do the greatest job at. The boy sat down with his back to me and it appeared as if he was shoving rocks from the ground into the front of his pants. When I first saw this I thought wow that's weird and went back to reading my book, but how often do you get to see something as odd as a kid putting rocks in his pants? The kid finished up loading up his pants with rocks and then walked over into the grass and all of the rocks fell out. He then bent over to pick up the rocks and began flinging them towards this tire. I imagine he was pretending as if he was Peyton or Eli Manning heaving passes into the hands of a receiver to win the superbowl. All of a sudden I heard a loud crash and bang and the kids face looked as if he had thrown a pass into the hands of a defender and the defender was returning the interception for a game winning touchdown. His face lossed all hint of color and he immediately began to look around to see if anyone had saw what had happened. He turned right and noticed that no one had turned around and then turn left and his eyes seemed to lock in on me like Tom Cruise would lock in on an enemy in the movie Top Gun. It was as if he was experiencing the fight or flight experience. I was pretty sure if the five year old chose fight that I could have taken him...but luckily for him he chose flight and ran away from the situation.
It seems like only yesterday that I was that little boy that was heaving things at objects that obviously were never designed to have things heaved at them. Whenever the sound of broken glass was heard in our house...it was usually followed with MATTHEW!!!! While I sat in the car I couldn't help but think of all of the things in my life that have been broken or damaged as a result of me and I couldn't help but imagine all of the things in the future that will be broke by my future children. Isn't it amazing how in those moments the things that are broken and be such a big deal, but a few days later it doesn't really matter?
It's in those moments that I'm able to understand God's grace. No matter what I broke or damaged my parent's always continued to love me. The same goes with God...and I've just now realized it. I've always saw my relationship with God as a list of do's and dont's. Like if I didn't do these things....God would be unhappy...and if I did these things....God would be happy. As a direct result I also develoepd the idea that because I do do these things....it makes me more worthy in God's eyes. I've been able to come to understand that this perspective needs to be totally destroyed. I have stopped looking at being a Christian as a check-list and instead I've looked at is as a relationship. I don't look at my wife and say "Jacklynn, I love you" and then whip out a pencil and check it off a to-do list for our relationship. Being a Christian is much more about a relationship than I have ever imagined...