The Playground

Journal 2010. Practicing the presence of Jesus is a worthy goal, but I don’t believe it means my mind must be focused 100% on Him every second of the day. I begin my day with Jesus, followed by the day’s activities where my awareness and conversation with Him ebbs and flows. Today I came to the end of a project in which I was totally focused and absorbed and then suddenly, abruptly, refocused on God. It made me think about relationships and a playground.

Watch a parent take a child to the playground. Some children let go of the parent’s hand quite readily and run off to play, totally oblivious to any potential danger—because they are keenly aware that the parent is nearby. But often throughout the morning, the child will run back to the parent for a snack, for a drink, with a skinned knee, for comfort, for delight (“Look at me! See what I can do”), for rest, for conversation.

The parent knows there is danger outside the perimeters. The child is aware of boundaries and off limits as instructed by the parent, but he has total freedom within the boundaries to choose which piece of equipment, which child to play with, how often and how long to play with each. Freedom within the boundaries. The child is conscious of the parent’s presence, even if he is not interacting with him every second.

And so I go about my day, resting, working, playing, interacting with others, but always aware of the presence of my Father. I never have to ask permission to play on a certain piece of equipment. It’s all permissible. But if I want to leave the premises, I better get His permission first, and I know He’ll accompany me if I do. My Father will always be there. And if I run away, He’ll pursue me. He loves me!

My boarding school playground in Nigeria, supervised by “Aunties” and “Uncles”

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