In our home, we have a Yorkie-poo named Princess. She rules the roost. I affectionately call her “Princess, the Wesleyan-Holiness Dog.” I call her that because with her grayish-white hair and piercing eyes, she looks somewhat like John Wesley. If you know anything about Yorkie-poos, you know they are very good apartment dogs, need only a moderate amount of exercise, and are highly sociable. Princess is content if either Jan or I am home, but most happy when all of us are together, either at home or out for a country drive. But above everything else, Princess needs lap time either with Mommom or Papa. Lots of lap time. That is her nature, and she will always be that way.
Our grandson, Cohen, just had his eighth birthday. We started babysitting Cohen when he was three months old. When he was younger, he loved to sit on Papa’s lap. I would read to him hour after hour. We read Dr. Seuss, Bible stories, dinosaur adventures, sea monsters, and all the things little boys like to read about. If I was working in my office, Cohen knew Papa would drop just about anything to spend time with him coloring or telling him stories…important stories that centered on him. He loved to come to the garden with me and look for bugs or play on the slide or swing while Mommom or I chased him around. That was then. Now he’s too old to just hang with us. His tastes have changed and Mommom and I are not the heroes we once were in his life. It will never be the same as it was.
Considering these two true stories, I began to think about our relationships with God. Are we more like Princess or like Cohen? Is it our nature, to be content and happy with just the presence of God, especially when we are sitting on Father’s lap, or have we outgrown the intimacy we once had with the Father because our tastes have changed and we’re all grown up now into Big Christians? Have we abandoned our playful child-like faith to embrace a more mature stance with God?
Of course, it is normal for us to mature in Christ as we are brought closer into His image and likeness through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. But in this process of growing up into Him in all things, can we afford to become “professional” Christians at the expense of losing our status as “relational” Christians? I pray we would never lose the sheer delight of sitting on Papa’s lap.