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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Playing by "Vader's Rules"

It was early one morning, as I walked down the stairs to the sounds of Paul and Sam playing. If you haven’t played with a 4-year old recently, you should know that the 4-year old is always in charge of the game and its rules … “No, Dad … do it this way.”

When Paul picked up the Darth Vader action figure, I heard, “No Dad, give that back. You are Luke Skywalker this time.” Paul, of course, continued to play along and they laughed and “used the force.” The light saber fights and non-stop chatter continued, until Luke Skywalker (i.e. Dad) got worn out and needed to rest a bit. Sam let out an “ah man," stomped his little foot, gathered up his toys, and went in the other room to play by himself.

What a perfect illustration of our relationship with our heavenly Father. We try to give him control of our lives, but end up selfishly “taking it back.”  We want to play by our own rules. We say we trust him with our lives, but our thoughts and behavior say something entirely different, “No, Lord, I want to do it this way.” We place ourselves on His altar and then “wiggle off” … not willing to make the sacrifice that He deserves.

Fortunately, our Heavenly Father doesn’t weary of us “wiggling off” of the altar. He doesn’t wear out or need a break from us. He always listens to our "chatter." At our best or worst, He never leaves our side, even when we "gather up our toys" and try to push Him aside. He has made the ultimate sacrifice.

We recently had a discussion in Sunday School about sacrifice. Through this discussion, it was determined that individuals don’t practice true sacrifice or really know what it is … giving up sugar or Facebook or merely missing some sleep to attend Sunday School and worship with the church family. This is selfish sacrifice in comparison to His selfless act of sacrifice for us.

Today, I am doing my best to heed His call and to give Him “all of me” to use for His glory. I am working on my acts of true sacrifice and trying to learn more about those through His Word. Won’t you join me on the altar of worship? We’ll do our best to hold onto each other and not “wiggle off.”

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