What a perfect word for this week of readying ourselves as we sink into the September schedule. Three days a week preschool; grandparents newly moved from New Jersey; fall church schedule starting up. Are we ready? Definitely not … but a good refuge is “Five Minute Friday” this week.
“Ready or not, here I come!” Her call echoes through the halls of our home as she eagerly goes in search of her sister (who is likely hiding somewhere fairly obvious). Is she ready to be found? Always. Is her sister ready to seek? Definitely. In this brief interchange, there is a metaphor for relationship with the Divine. With our Creator. I think of the first “hide-and-seek” that happened in an idyllic garden. Perfectly perfect except for the sin that had just clothed Adam and Eve in shame. This time when God comes seeking them for their afternoon walk n’ talk, they hide. They do not run out to meet him, eagerly embracing the God who delights in them as his own image-bearers.
And ever since then, we too have been hiding. Hiding because we never feel ready. I was not ready to leave home for college in the Midwest; I certainly was not ready to be married or to parent twins or for my first counseling client. I am not ready for God to find me as I am. I need to clean up this corner; hide and straighten things out a bit. Smooth over the angry wrinkle in my heart; ameliorate the impatience; cleanse out those dirty stains.
God comes though, and he calls out gently, lovingly, “Ready or not, here I come!” For I cannot clean myself up without him. He knows and sees already the shame I want to hide. He pierces it through with his presence, exposing and healing and restoring in one fell swoop. In a great divine reversal, he makes me ready as I cry out that I am not.