I am sick today and have been for about three days. My wife has taken the kids and largely left me alone in the basement to recover. I say three days, that’s how long I’ve been completely out of it and in bed. I’ve been on autopilot for about three weeks now. I get that way sometimes because of the sleep apnea.
After the children fell asleep last night, my wife shared with me the story of our son and his adventures throughout the day. There was a trip to Michael’s (the craft store) where he say lots of stickers and other cool things. He was eager to get all kinds of things. Then there was the trip next door to a huge bookstore. He saw lots of books he wanted. I also learned that they have the mother-of-all wooden train set-ups for children to play with. Both of my children spent a lot of time playing with the trains. After purchasing a few books, they all loaded up to visit a friend’s house. My wife had some Hands and Voices business to attend to, but my son knew their son from preschool. There was a bit of time playing before heading over to Whole Foods. At Whole Foods, they got a small treat and headed home. Once home, I watched a Bob the Builder video with both of them before getting ready for bed.
Being sick, I didn’t notice the oddity until my wife mentioned it to me: He wore a bee costume the entire time.
It’s one thing to look different in a crowd – my son is used to that because of his ear tags and hearing aid. Wearing a bee costume made him stand apart even more. (That and when he wears it, his hearing aid has to sit on his temple instead of behind his ear – otherwise the feedback is audible at a 30 foot range.)
Add to this my son’s obvious enthusiasm about bees. He loved bees. He sang songs all day long about how bees make honey. He sang about his love of honey in tea. He sang about how bees get nectar from flowers. He sang about his beautiful black and yellow stripes. He sang about all the virtues of being a bee.
According to my wife, he got some rather odd looks at the bookstore. I’m sure that she got a few as well. Personally, I would have wanted to don a bee costume myself and join him.
In thinking about it, I know the source of this expression is not rooted in how he sees himself. In other words, my first impression was that he figured that since he looks different anyway, he might as well look *very* different. My son is self-conscious about his hearing loss, but that is not the source of wearing the bee costume. No, he simply loves bees and is not bashful about it. He has no concern about *your* reaction to bees, but it would be nice if you sand a bee song with him. Nothing on earth will diminish his love for bees – in fact, he slept in the costume last night. If he had wanted, I would have let him wear it to church today.
I want to have the same enthusiasm my son has. Not just about books or games or football, but about God. It’s more than being grateful and reprogramming my mind to look to God’s blessings and promises instead of the world. I understand that aspect of being transformed by a renewing of the mind. What I’m looking for is less deliberate. In addition to that, I would like to simply enjoy God. I want to have the songs. I want the attitude that says ‘join me if you like — or not.’
Unlike a lot of folks I know, I don’t think I’ve ever had it. I have a lot of issues that deal with my time in the ICoC (past and present), but this is not one I can attribute to it. Even after my conversion, I was happy and I enjoyed my faith, but I didn’t have the songs and I certainly didn’t have the attitude. This is a different heart, one I’ve never had in my walk with God.
I’ve prayed a lot about wanting something different. I’ve prayed a lot about going back to the things I did before because there doesn’t appear to be a different goal to strive for. I mean, I know that there is a better way to be a Christian than doing and being what I was from 1991 – 2001.
Now, I think I know what it looks like.