I guess the summer weather is officially here! It’s been so nice out the past few days that we finally got around to setting up the cheap-o inflatable pool that we got a few months ago now. We actually try to get one like every year, because that is only how long it lasts… good thing they’re cheap (or maybe that’s why they’re cheap).
Either case, we outside yesterday in the nice warm weather playing in the water, and every now and then I need to take a break. First of all we just used water straight from the hose to fill the pool, so the water is c-c-cold. And secondly it is just a large deposit of water sitting outdoors so every now and then I can just feel the creepy crawlies in the water and making their way up my legs… but I know it’s not (always) the case, but I need to get out anyway.
And as I sat there and watched our kids continue playing in the pool, I realised that these kids of ours, these offspring, these miracles of life that are comprised of and built with a combination of my wife and me… don’t make any sense at all.
Like at all.
They laugh at the weirdest things. They find the strangest activities fun. And they have no problems at all putting the not-exactly-clean pool water in the mouths but would scream at about a dead spider sitting 5 feet away from them minding its own dead business. Like I said, they make no sense.
But they’re happy. At least, they seemed to be having the time of their lives playing in this cheap pool that will have punctured somehow by September. They played without a care in the world except for the spider carcass that I had to remove from their sight and throw into the bushes. They enjoyed each other’s nonsensical company and just enjoyed life.
And I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here is a couple of familiar stories and passages. First we have young King Solomon asking for wisdom instead of riches and long life, and then we have Jesus and all his “the kingdom of heaven is like” parables. And let’s not forget the very popular funeral passage we get in Romans. I really like this combination of passages because (in my mind at least), they work together very well.
Jesus explaining the kingdom the way he does seems, much like my kids, to not make any sense. No one in their right minds would do the things that he says they would do. No one cares about those little things that the people in his parables care about. No one in real life acts like that.
Or do they?
While we might not find joy in a single coin, a single sheep, or some treasure of undermined value apparently worth the field that it used to be in, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t joy in it. We might not go through the lengths that these people go through to find or keep or in response of that lost treasure, but that doesn’t mean those things don’t have value that we don’t understand. We might not ask for wisdom to lead when given unlimited options, especially as a child, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make sense.
What it does mean is that there is joy in many areas of life that we might not see or fathom or could even guess. There is peace even where we didn’t know peace could exist. There is a love that we cannot be separated from through the expansive grace and mercy of God.
And that is where it all stems from I think. The fact that nothing in this world could separate us from God’s love shows us the joy that can be found in all areas of life: in the ordinary, in the mundane, even in the nonsensical. And it is in that joy that we can see life differently, as through the eyes of a loving God.
While we continue to navigate this pandemic, it is my hope and prayer that we are all able to find this joy in life, strengthening us in our community, and reminding us the gift of relationship through Jesus Christ, our Lord, our friend, our example of what the kingdom is like.
Have a great week, everyone!