Monday, October 31, 2011

Let's Wrestle!

"I will not let you go unless you bless me." - Jacob in the wrestling match of his life!

I blearily stumbled into the kitchen and was greeted with the face of my 3 yr. old, a face that beamed with energy, perhaps the energy of a thousand energizer bunnies coursing through his little frame. And he asked me a question I could have guessed a thousand times over, "Daddy, do you want to wrestle?"

As he looked at me with those big hazel eyes, pleading for what I know would make his day, I deliberated the cost. Not much, I thought, five minutes of romping and rolling around on our bed in the hopes of making my favorite boy's day. So we wrestled, and I'm not sure who had more joy, Dad or Son.

I've been reading Tim Keller's Conterfeit Gods and I finally finished it. It was difficult to pick up. I am so swamped with idolatry that I wasn't sure I could handle a book that would blast through it all with the truth. I guess I was afraid that all I would hear would be just more moralistic bootstrap pulling thickly veiled under gospel language. The old "Just stop it" we here in our Christian religion.

I've tried to stop my idolatry and I can't. I need more. I need to wrestle with my God. I need to jump on his back, test his arms to see if they can carry my pain, get spun around on my head and laugh until my sides hurt as he tickles me.

My daughter always insists on stripping down to her underwear when we wrestle. We need to feel skin on skin, to feel the reality of closeness, to feel the muscles twitch and turn as we contort, twist and tickle.

This is what Jacob found in his WWF match with God. As Keller notes, this is what Jacob must have been thinking:
What an idiot I've been! Here is what I've been looking for all my life. The blessing of God! I looked for it in the approval of my father. I looked for it in the beauty of Rachel. But it was in you. Now I won't let you go until you bless me. Nothing else matters. I don't care if I die in the process, because if I don't have God's blessing, I've got nothing. Nothing else will do.

Could this be the universal cry of the human heart? Was it Jesus' cry from the Garden of Gethsemeny? God blessing, God approval, God wrestling? We were made in the image of God, made for this, made for bodies to lock, skin against skin, to twist, pull, push, grunt, sweat and laugh and to be overwhelmed by the power of this creator God, who limits his power for us, much like a Dad with a 3 yr. old.

So this morning I popped little David's hip out as well, just so he'd remember who he was dealing with. You have to keep them in their place after all.

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