But something even more telling has hurdled us headlong into fun in the sun: the arrival of the dreaded ice cream truck.
Summer is in full swing in our little valley home. The children have abandoned a reasonable night time schedule; the temperatures have been sizzling in the 90s; the fireflies are out in all their glory.
This predatory creature always seems to know just when dinner time is. It summons children like the pied piper. Doors are recklessly flung ajar as soda pop music is piped into the air, cajoling them into a trancelike state. The children with less astute hearing are soon enlightened by their friends, and it doesn’t take long for the streets to come alive with young voices.
And last night, as I sit in the cool of the evening on the front porch with my Jeffrey, he begins to plead his case for a tasty frozen treat. I remind him that we have a whole box of perfectly good popsicles in our freezer. They’re just not packaged as nicely. They’re not wrapped up in his favorite cartoon character, and they certainly don’t come with a song
But as I lecture, my ears prick up. What is that? It sounds like the carousal music from a fair long past. My heart skips a beat and I feel the pull. I want to run down the street in pursuit of that joy on wheels. Instead, I give my boy a couple dollars and watch our street come alive.
As I watch the doors flapping and the legs flying, I start to wonder. Maybe I sometimes don’t put Jesus in the right packaging. I wrap Him up in Sunday mornings and hymns that are hundreds of years old; in pious looks and judgmental glares; or legalism and rituals that mean nothing to those who have never been to church.
Where is the fun in that?
I should be a living, breathing ice cream truck for Jesus, but instead, I’m more like the mail truck. I deliver the message with little excitement. No song. No treat. Just a plain old box.
I know full well all the joy there is in knowing Jesus. Yet, I greedily hoard away this delight, concealing it from the very ones who need to see.
As I run after him, am I inviting my friends, calling joyfully to them to follow? Do I pipe out into my world this music in my heart? Do I let this color He puts into my days seep out of this package?
The great thing about Jesus is that He doesn’t come around only when it’s convenient. He doesn’t just go down the streets with the most customers. He chases after me.
And you know what? He is every flavor. He is the song. He is the joy.
So, go ahead. Chase the truck.
This is a repost from quite a few years ago that first appeared in our local paper The Charleston Gazette. My little one, of course, is now 13…but he still chases the ice cream truck. And of course, I do too.
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:
Photo by whimsylove. Sourced via Flickr creative commons.