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Abundant Life

Originally published in the Union Springs Herald on August 24, 2011.

I enjoy watching my children do new things. Naomi and I recently took the kids off for a short weekend get-away, and we made sure they got to have some new and fun experiences. Our son enjoyed attending his first major league baseball game. He had a great time learning the chants, clapping his hands, and cheering for the home team. I loved getting to watch him take joy in it. We also took him to an aquarium where he could see all sorts of fish and other sea life. He especially liked seeing the big whales. It’s a great deal of fun for him to get to do things like that, but I think it’s even more fun for me to watch him enjoy life and experience it in a full and abundant way.

My experience as a parent has been a big part of my ongoing theological education. So many different aspects of my relationships with my children have led me to think more carefully about the way my own Heavenly Father desires to relate to me. And when I get to watch my children enjoy life, it reminds me that God wants to see me enjoy life also, and that he has gone out of his way to make that possible.

So much about the Christian faith continues to amaze me. One of those amazing things is the picture of God as one who seeks us. God is a seeking God. Even when we were far away and estranged God sought us out to initiate a new kind of relationship with us. This is the mystery and the beauty of the incarnation, which is that event in which the God who called all things into existence took on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, in order to be with us so that he could enjoy us and we could enjoy him.

God knows that we can only enjoy his best for our lives when we are in a life-giving relationship with him through Jesus Christ. In order to make that possible, he came to us when we could not come to him. That is a big deal. So, the next time you are enjoying time with the people you love, I hope that you are reminded just how much God loves you and longs to enjoy you and share his abundance with you. And I hope you receive that abundance. _____ Image: Arvind Balaraman/

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