Because Sunday is a working day, I take Fridays off. One of the things that I love about having Fridays off is that I get to help out in either of my sons class rooms. We have two boys- 9 and 8. So often classrooms have class room mothers, but I am a class room dude. I love to help with projects or go on special trips. Typically this looks like me with 6 other moms. Which always feels a little weird, especially when you start to engage in mom conversation about pregnancies and all that.
Last year my son Aaron went on a trip and part of the trip was stopping at a park. So there was two full busloads of 1st graders and they hit that playground hard. There we're a couple preschoolers with their parents, that started to run away because they saw what was coming!
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So my son Aaron who was 6 at the time comes over to me and asked me for help. There was Zip line type thing. There we're two handle bars and as you held on it would slide you across. It was pretty cool, and I had wished that I had one on the playground that I had growing up. Aaron is far from being able to reach the handle bars, but he can tell this is a fun device- and I am sure he is thinking that it will be like star wars, or some super hero using this thing.
Aaron says, Dad can you lift me up. So I lift him up and he slides across. You can guess what happens next. He says, Dad let's do it again. So I lift him up and slide him across. So like every kid when they are having the time of their life they don't want to stop. Do it again, do it again he cheers.
This captures the attention of every 1st grader known to man and before I know it there is a line. A line of 1st graders all chanting, do it again!. So one by one I start lifting these kids and pushing them on this zip line. There are some kids that say, Mr.Matt don't let go, I'm scared and then others that once they are on the handle bars are ready to fly. I am reminding myself to lift with my knees not my back, and then I look over and the moms are just huddle up watching saying, oh that's so cute, him helping those kids and I want to yell across the playground, get your yoga, zumba, pilate, billy banks butts over here, I know you can lift just as much as me!"
Then.. you get the kid next in line that you wonder if he is truly a 1st grader. I'm thinking, "didn't you drive here?" He is a first grader who has chest hair and has a really low voice and in a deep voice he says, LIFT me!
So I am lifting kid after kid after kid and my arms are getting tired and wondering when they are going to fire up the buses. Then the teacher says it's time to go and I take a breath.
You see there are times when we feel like this. We just need a breath. We are tired, we are worn out, many of us are broken. What started out as fun becomes exhausting. What started out as an instagram moment becomes a really bad dream. There are times when we can treat people this way as well. We get overwhelmed What? I need to change one more kid in kid min, I need to tie one more shoe, I need to wake up when, I need to find one more volunteer, I need to clean this bathroom again, I need to lead another meeting, create another graphic, answer another phone, process another slip, I need to greet one more person, put on a smile and lead worship? We start to look at the long line and say, "really I need to do it again!" You might look at your day and say, God, I need to do it again! What?! Do you know how tired I am?"
If we try to love others by ourselves, or serve others by ourselves we get tired. It becomes monotonous. The same action again and again. Kid I know you are going to love this zip line thing, and you have never done it before but I am tired. I just lifted every first grader known to man We get tired, we become worn out.
What is cool about God is he doesn't get tired of the monotony. God is alive in the monotony. He does things again, again, and again.
Every Sunday when I arrive at Ephrata, I see an amazing sun rise, again, again, and again. Day after day, week after week, year after year he has the Sun rise. He doesn't get tired of making flowers bloom, or grass grow. He does it again and again with creation. God also doesn't get tired of lifting us up either, he does it again and again. We fall down, we mess up, we scarp our knee, we make bad choices, go the wrong direction and God lifts us up again, and again, he forgives us again and again. He loves you again, and again, and again. As you look at the life of Jesus you see this rhythm.We see the followers of Jesus, come to him and say:
here is another sick one Jesus, do it again, heal them again
Jesus here is one that is lowered through the roof that is lame, do it again Jesus, do it again.
Here is a broken woman. A tax collector who has been cheating people for years. a beggar, a lame person Jesus- do it again!"
I think of the official in John 4 who meets Jesus on the road and says that his son is so sick and fears losing him and begs Jesus to come to his town because he wants to see Jesus heal again with his son.
We are no different. There are people in our lives, neighbors, family members, friends where we need to cry out and say, "do it again Jesus! Do it again in them Jesus, because you have done it in me. You have changed my life Jesus, I need to you to change my sons, my daughter, my neighbor, my dad, my mom, my friend. God we have seen people, met people, baptized people here who's lives have been changed by Christ, and we want you to do it again!"
Sure we will get tired of people, we will get tired of stepping into the mess, we get tired of helping carry others burdens, but Jesus doesn't. He does it again and again. We can do it again and again with others because he has done it again in us.
Some of us are tired, we are worn out. The thought of another email, another person with troubles, another weekend, another campus, another slip to enter, another bathroom to clean, another meeting to go to, is overwhelming. If you have that feeling of just not being able to lift one more kid then you right now need to say, "Do it again in me Jesus. Change me, do it again in me." You have been trying to so hard to carry others, that you need to be reminded that Jesus will lift you up, he will hold on, he will never let you go. Ask Jesus to "Do it again" with your heart, your family, your attitude, to do it again in your life.
You might say, "I remember when God gave me joy, gave me peace, showed me my purpose, showed me how to be a dad, a mom. God lift me up again, do it again in my life"
As Jesus does that in our lives we are able to then do it for others. I want to be able to say I am able to do it again for others, because he has done it again in me.
I want you to think of one person that you say to God, "do it again". Maybe it is a neighbor, a friend, someone at the gym, maybe it someone that lives inside your house. "Do it again in my sons life God, he is broken and far from you, do it again and change his life".
My prayer is that we would be able to do it again, because God has done it again in us. Don't just be sitting on the edge of the playground watching. Jesus will take us on the ride of a life time if we let him, and the cool thing is that he asks us to bring others along.
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Posted in Churches/Faith/Religion Post Date 12/23/2016