And the running-through-the-sprinklers laughter and joy reminded me of a story from a couple summers ago, a story I needed to hear again.
I want to be the type of person who runs through the sprinklers of God's grace, a person who laughs (even when my stuff is getting wet and my health goes low) and knows how to soak up God's love and joy. I want to be the kid He made me to be.
Maybe you want that too.
If so, here's the story that's helping me this week:
Running through the Sprinklers of Grace
I sat back in my lawn chair, closed my eyes, and listened to the steady chit-chit-chit of the sprinklers. Ice melted in the glass beside me. The sun warmed my face. Tension oozed from my shoulders, and I sighed. All was peaceful, calm, and ...
Then came a shriek.
I opened my eyes. There on the lawn before me twirled six little swimsuit-clad bodies, their arms waving, their cheeks sprinkled with water.
They stopped. Chit-chit-chit went the sprinkler. They positioned themselves. Three more chits, then they ran through the falling drops with their chins raised and their voices once more loud with joy. Sunlight glinted off the water in a rainbow of color. Again they paused, again they ran, again they laughed and danced.
On the first pass, the water made a few dark spots on their suits and hair. By the fifth run, they were completely soaked.
“Come on, Mom, join us. It’s fun!” Joelle raced on tiptoe through the falling drops, until her long hair streamed with water.
I watched her and smiled. “I’m not wearing my swimsuit. I’m fine where I am. You guys play.” I motioned with my hand and settled deeper into my chair.
The baby raised her hands and toddled through the spray of water. The older ones followed, each laughing and squealing and shouting with joy.
Wetter and wetter they got.
Happier and happier they became.
Until I realized that I had chosen poorly. Here I sat, comfortably on my chair, outside of the spray of fun and joy. I sat. They ran. I sighed. They laughed.
When did I get so dull and boring?
I stood up and put my hands on my hips. Was I like this with God, too? Did I sit on the sidelines, in my comfortable chair, while God was sprinkling his grace and love with abandon just a few feet away? Was I too comfortable, too tired, or even too lazy to run through the sprinklers of his grace until I was soaked through and through?
If so, I wanted to change. If God’s grace was raining down, I wanted to be a part of it. And not just a few dribbles, I wanted to be soaked through and through.
Joelle’s voice rang out again. “Come on, Mom, get on your suit!”
I grinned and turned toward the house. “I’ll be right there.” Moments later, I was dressed in my physical swimsuit, but what about my spiritual one? What kind of “suit” would prepare me for running through the sprinklers of God’s grace?
As I thought about the question, Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV) came to mind: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” I pondered the last part of the verse until I began to glimpse the truth. God had called me to be overflowing with thankfulness. That was the “suit” I needed. When thankfulness covers me, clothes me, I’m ready to receive the droplets of his grace, the pouring out of his love. A thankful spirit is the suit that’s made especially for running through the water with joy.
I jogged down the front steps and out onto the lawn. Then, I raised my face, listened to the steady chit-chit-chit, and ran. I squealed, I giggled, I laughed. My kids laughed with me. And that’s when I knew that I didn’t want to miss the fun anymore, not on the front lawn and not in life with God. I needed to keep on my suit of thankfulness and see where God was sprinkling his grace -- in church, in books, in serving others, in reading my Bible, in quiet walks, in times with good friends -- so I could put myself in a position for the water to fall on me.
If I do that, then I can run with abandon. I can shriek and scream, laugh and squeal. I can dance through the sprinklers of his grace again and again until I’m soaked with the wonder of his love. That’s the way I want to live, everyday!