We have continued building the Tree Fort on into day three and things are going quite well. the neighborhood kids have discovered the great imagination station perched in our tree and there has been quite a bit of running up and down the ladder, zig zagging through the construction zone. My youngest two have been tossing, “Can I help Dad?” over their shoulders once in a while, but never really pausing long enough to put hand to thought. If you look closely in the next picture you can see Kaleb standing in his favorite spot…the far corner just under the Eastern window.
I know they truly want to help with the building project, although mostly they want to get a hammer in their hands and hit something repeatedly until that certain something breaks. I really want to include them in the project too…for this is one of those things they will always remember and probably try to replicate with their own offspring. But, putting a seven and ten year old to work is quite a daunting task. Do I send them up the eight foot ladder standing on the top wrung with the drill and with one hand holding the screw and board while maneuvering the other hand in place to drill the screw in while hanging on with one foot? Don’t think so. But I did find some things for them to do and feel like they were putting some time in, enough to tell their friends that they built it with me.
Sometimes I think I feel like I imagine my kids feeling when they ask me if they can help. Probably deep down they know I am not going allow them to use the power tools or climb the ladder to the top or do any serious measuring. I’m not sure they know I am letting them do things they really can’t mess up, things that I can double check without letting them know.
I ask those questions of God often. “Can I help?” “Can I be part of showing your power?” “Can I lead someone to you?” “Can I lead a big church?” “Can I, huh, God, can I?” Like a little kid I bounce around hoping he will pick me to help in bringing his Kingdom to Seattle. Wishing and dreaming that he will let me do something important that transforms Seattle.
I wonder what he thinks? Maybe he gives me tasks that he knows I can’t screw up to bad. You know like I do with my kids. I am not going to trust them install the 4×4 braces, that hold up the entire fort, with 8″ lag bolts sunk into the tree. Well, not yet anyway. But with a bit of instruction I can entrust that to my older two boys. Of course that all depends on how they follow the small instructions. If they do the little things completely wrong because they couldn’t even have enough self control to listen and learn, then I’m not giving them any greater tasks.
Hmmm. There seems to be a parable in here somewhere. Maybe our desires to do great things must match up with our humility to be taught; to be instructed; to be built up, which requires that we are torn down first. Maybe God really wants to call on me to do great big things, but he is waiting for me to be great in the small things. Maybe God is situating Epic Life Church, testing our resolve, our submission, our humility in the small things as he prepares big things.
Or…maybe he already has us doing great big things but we see them as insignificant. Are lives transformed and reconciled to Christ insignificant? I think not.