NOLA courtyardtree trunkHas this ever happened to you? Every once in a while I have a sense that God knocks at my door and invites me to come out and play. In my imagination I picture God bored-to-tears with my more serious, hard-working self, and instead finds some way to get in my face and say, “Lighten up!” One of those moments happened recently.

It was during a meeting that I was helping to lead. We had a break, and I went outside. My body was outdoors but my mind was still inside—focused on how the meeting had gone so far, how we’d proceed after the break, etc.—and I was missing the beauty all around me, until I saw pink flowers peeking out from behind this tree trunk. I stopped to admire and really look. I felt the smoothness of the bark. I knew joy in the contrast of trunk and flower, old and new. I followed it around and was stopped in my tracks once again by a totally different sight—the gnarly, bulbous side of the same large tree trunk. Somehow I knew that this game of hide and seek with God was about “finding” this prize. And beyond that, it was about meeting our playful God who finds joy in drawing us out of our seriousness by our five senses to experience the world and encounter the Creator.