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"Do The Hokey Pokey"

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"But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 19:14

You have heard the old adage, "Children are to be seen and not heard." Thats exactly how the disciples felt that day when Jesus encountered a bunch of small children who were being brought to Jesus to have Him lay hands on them and bless them. You can imagine the disciples attempting to protect Jesus from these children by rebuking them not realizing they would have naturally been drawn to Christ by His genuine love for them. The harder the disciples would have tried to prevent it the more difficult it would become. It was like spinning plates. Just as the disciples pulled one kid away from Jesus or intercepted them before they got close, one or two would slip by into the open arms of their waiting Savior.

Jesus basically rebukes the disciples and makes it perfectly clear in Jesus kingdom kids are not just tolerated, they are celebrated and a model of what true faith looks like. Oh that you and I would have child like faith! Monday as I was watching my grand daughters the Lord used our oldest grandchild to teach me a very valuable lesson I will never forget as long as I live.

Reese and I had been riding bikes up and down our street while my wife watched our youngest grand daughter Quinn while my wife cooked dinner. Without warning Reese got off her bike and parked it in the street near the curb and invited me to join her out in the middle of the street to play some games with her. I said, "ok, what game do you want to play?" Reese patiently lined me out like only a member of the female gender can as to where I was to stand and then she took her place in front of me and begin to sing, "Put your right foot in and put your right foot out, put your right foot in and you shake it all about. Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself around, thats what its all about."

You have to understand we are now standing out in the middle of the street no longer in front of my house but down the street in front of a neighbors house with their garage door open and cars passing by very slowly because we have one of those florescent green plastic, "slow man" signs that you can put out on your curb to warn oncoming traffic that children and their Opa's are playing in the street. "Slow Man" even has a bright orange flag he holds in his hand. Did I say playing in the street? No, we were playing the Hokey Pokey in the street for all the neighbors to see. I live in a retirement community so don't worry, everybody's home.

As one car after another passed I was forced to make a decision each time. I could hear the words from the Lee Ann Womack hit song playing in my head, "I Hope You Dance"… "Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance, and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance… I hope you dance." I knew my wife would be happy too knowing I didn't sit it out but rather I chose to dance!

In all honesty, at first I was reluctant, even somewhat embarrassed by what people might think of me so as the first car passed I went through the Hokey Pokey motions at less than 50% effort not to draw attention to myself. As the driver smiled and waved as they drove by at like 15 mph a quote I shared on Sunday in a sermon came to my mind that said, 'life is about putting others' needs above your own fears.' And as soon as those words passed through my mind the fear was gone.

You see, friend, my love for my granddaughter allows me to do the hokey pokey and turn myself around in the middle of the street all the while wearing a bike helmet as cars are passing by. I no longer care what the drivers might think of me and for good reason. The reason I don't care is simple. My love for my grand daughter is far greater than my fear of what others might think of me. The lesson Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 19 took on a whole new meaning for me personally as I was confronted by my own pride standing there in the street with my bike helmet on but my bike laying over on the side of the road. I am fully convinced that the disciples weren't afraid how Jesus blessing children would make Jesus look. They were not trying to protect Him. No, the disciples were more afraid how they would look.

I get it as I too was afraid of how I would look to the people who didn't matter as the one who did was standing there next to me smiling from ear to ear and laughing endlessly as her Opa made a fool of himself going all in as I did the Hokey Pokey. There is an old saying, "If you realized how little people thought of you, you wouldn't care what people thought of you." If you are like me at all you tend to worry way too much about what the wrong people think at times instead of seeking to please the one who loves you already. I love when my grand daughter comes over because she teaches me so much.

I want to love Jesus more than my fear of what others might think of me. I want to be open to public humiliation for wanting people to know the love of our Savior. I don't want to live in fear, I want to be guided and motivated by Christ's love. I want to love Jesus the way the hokey pokey song ends. I want to go all in. I want to put my whole body in and shake it all about and do the Hokey Pokey and turn the whole world around, cause that's what it's all about!

"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen."

Matthew 28:18-20

I LOVE YOU!


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