It was late in the afternoon one day on our family beach vacation this past July. As often happens when I’ve been sitting around relaxing for a while, I started to get a little antsy and needed to move.
In these situations usually I’ll take a short walk on the beach or go for a quick jog and that does the trick, but this time was different. Not because I didn’t get the exercise I needed but because of something else entirely.
Before leaving I asked if anyone wanted to go with me but everyone was engrossed in their own activities and didn’t feel like joining me. I would’ve enjoyed the company but was also fine to venture out on my own.
So I headed down the beach enjoying the fresh air and peaceful sounds of the waves crashing on the shore. About 10 min. in to the walk I heard someone shouting, “Dad, Dad!” I wasn’t sure if the shouts were directed at me but they sounded like they could be coming from one of my kids so just in case I turned around to check.
What I saw totally surprised me. There was Calum running up the beach to meet me! He was out of breath so I could tell he’d been running for quite some time to try and catch up.
This is a kid that will almost always choose relaxing, and just hanging out playing video games, reading, etc. to any sort of physical activity so I was super surprised to see him but also thrilled!
Later Kim told me she’d watched him run down the beach to catch me. Several times he stopped to get his bearings, looking around to make sure he knew where he was and could still see me and also to catch his breath. She could also tell he was yelling for me but the wind was blowing into his face so his words didn’t travel very far. The kid really had to work hard to catch me!
I gave him a big hug and then we continued the walk together having a great time talking and exploring the beach. It was amazing to connect and spend time together just the two of us. I think it was something we both probably needed. Even though I have three boys, there is something special about spending time with each of them individually.
Even though this story happened several months ago now, it pops back into my head once in a while and I think God is using it to reveal to me something about his character and how he feels about us as his children.
I continue thinking of how it felt to have my son pursue me and do something he normally wouldn’t do to spend time with me. How even though I might have been a little sad that he didn’t want to join me initially, as soon as I heard his voice and turned and saw him, I was filled with joy and immediately compelled to embrace him and thank him for coming to meet me.
I think that is how God feels when we pursue him. He’s always there inviting us and all we have to do is answer the invitation. We don’t have to put in even close to the amount of effort that Calum did to catch up to me, but if we do pursue him with that kind of energy I’m sure it makes him even happier.
I’m reminded once again that the Christian faith is relational, that God wants to be in relationship with us and walk with us daily. All we need to do is turn to him and answer his invitation.