So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
When your house reaches the ripe old age of six, those more disposable items plan their escape to appliance heaven all at once. This week marked the garbage disposal’s passing. I knew buying that bone-in chuck roast was a bad idea no matter what the bargain.
The frenetic-but-blissful thing I never expected about family life was the random togetherness. No matter what the activity, it always ends up that all five of us — terrier included — congregate in the same 6’x6′ space. Usually it’s the sink area in the Master bedroom. This morning, however, we gathered in the business end of the kitchen to replace the garbage disposal. Pounding, babbling, reading, barking, chewing, slobbering, helping, whimpering, sniffing, tightening — that was our morning.
After our breakfast of French toast, Daddy announced the morning’s project. Daddy was thrilled to have a little Bob the Builder helper. Little Bob (a.k.a. Isaac) immediately loaded up his tool belt with toy saw, wrench, hammer, and pliers. He fetched the screwdriver. He improvised a megaphone. He flashed a light. He bailed mid-project for a Mommy-snuggle. But he returned to help and inquire. Daddy consulted flash instructions online and read directions in a vampire voice (or as Isaac calls it, a “grampire” voice).
Watching a little toddler work with Daddy tickles me. The relationship is really the key, and things get done along the way. We all sing, snuggle, and chatter. We are working with each other. The dog, as much as we love her, is really a non-participant — window-dressing that adds a touch of exasperating humor.
That’s what amazes me about God’s relationship with us. We’re not His pets — included for His whim. We’re His children. He’s planning a work, and He graciously invites us to participate. Sure, all we can bring is our made-for-3-years-and-under toy pliers, and an omnipotent God can even make those work. He’s not just tolerating us or placating us or distracting us. He’s not just throwing a rubber ball out in the other room or frantically dog-proofing cabinet contents. He’s enjoying working with us just like a Daddy enjoys having his bustling family help during a rather dull chore. I think, for us, it’s a matter of recognizing work as playing with Him and of finding the grander work in even our play.