As I sit down to eat dinner with my almost three-year-old son we “talk” about the day. It usually ends up with him telling me about playing with toys, and with “the kids”. Many of these “talks” are not terribly deep, but the other night, he wanted to tell me a funny story, or at least a story that was funny to him because every time I try to tell the story, no one else laughs. However, the funniest part is that when he gets to the part he really thinks is funny, he repeats it, followed by, “I said that.” In a way, he is saying, “Daddy, I don’t know if you will get this, but it is really funny, and I really want you to hear it.”
It is during these times, I can’t help but smile, not because he has a knack for telling jokes, but because he wants to share this time with me, and really wants me to engage in his story. I am more than overjoyed to be able to give him this time, as an added bonus I am given so much joy because he wants to spend this time with me.
In the show Parenthood this week, I also saw an example of how a father desired relationship with his son. I won’t give away how this ends, because so many watch these shows on Tivo or DVR, but it captures the father’s desire to engage with his son.
Similarly, God desires relationship with us. God desires us to engage in relationship. This requires us to tell those stories that we find funny, those things that are on our minds that are stuck for one reason or another. My son found value in telling me his funny story, and I engaged and was captivated not because it was profound, but because it was important to him, similarly God doesn’t just want our polished Sunday morning prayers, but rather God desires each and every one of us to sit down and talk, and share our lives.
Unfortunately, I am not always willing to give this time fully over to God, as my son is fully engaged in our conversations. Too often I am distracted by what is on television, or the list of things that I need to get done in the day, or even playing games on my computer. These things prevent me from the full relationship that God desires from me.
God went to extremes to restore relationship with us, but too often we merely give lip service to that relationship. I challenge each and every one to take some time and sit and tell God a joke, a story, or simply sharing with God in prayer. Honor that relationship, and give of yourself. Put the “Nintendo DS”, or whatever is distracting you, down and actually spend some time with the Almighty Creator of the universe that simply wants to engage you in relationship. God wants our stories, because they make up who we are, and when we really want God to hear us, our relationship becomes a unique connection to the Almighty.