Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wrestling with God

When I was in junior high and high school, I wrestled on the Paonia (Colo.) wrestling team. My sons laugh when they hear I was a wrestler because they imagine I was a WWF wrestler, in a ring, jumping off the top ropes doing a flying toe hold or hitting someone over the head with a wooden chair. But being on the wrestling team was great. Practices were grueling but they built me up and gave me endurance. Travelling to other cities was cool because you got to hang out with friends on four- to ten-hour bus trips. The physicality of wrestling is like no other sport.

I was reading about Jacob wrestling with the angel...the story facsinates me. Being that close to a spiritual being boggles my mind. It certainly represents nicely the number of things I have wrestled with God in my life, my flesh and heart constantly coming up against my spiritual and moral beliefs.

I am constantly wrestling with God about something. But you know something, I think God likes it when I wrestle with Him. God doesn't want to be detached and distant in my life, He wants to be in there, close, touching me, working me out. He doesn't want to be an intellectual concept or a religious icon. The nature of wrestling is close, physical and God loves it... because you can't wrestle with someone who is far away. They have to be close to you. It's a very intimate, personal activity.

I like it when God manhandles me. No matter what move I make, He holds on to me and counters each move. I want to be lovingly mauled by my Father just like my sons like it when I wrestle with them. I hold them down and maul them and they smile the entire time, knowing I am not going to hurt them but they know they are not powerful enough to take me...yet. We both enjoy the physical time together and it creates a bond, a loving bond, with each other.

I want God that close. I want him on top of me matching me move for move. I want Him close enough to feel His breath and know His strength. When my flesh has an issue with Him and I walk onto the mat, like Jacob wrestling, I don't think He is angry nor do I think He wants to crush me. I think He is happy, because I am close....I am at least willing to walk onto the mat with Him. Wrestling with God doesn't mean He has given up on me or is slapping me around; it is His way of showing how close He really is and that he loves me....and He always wins.

What has your experience of wrestling been?

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