Double-Dutch with God

 

I remember when I was a little boy in The Bronx, I used to run past this group of girls playing double-dutch on my way to play either football or softball with my boys.  I would always catch them out of the corner of my eye, doing something that I always thought was silly.  As two girls swung a doubled-up rope, some girl would be standing at the end/corner, making this weird back and forth motion, swaying with the rhythm of the rope, waiting to jump in.  I remember that I always used to think: “JUST JUMP IN ALREADY!  Pppsssttt!!  GIRLS….”

I didn’t get it.  First of all, double-dutch wasn’t a SPORT.  I mean, it wasn’t anything my boys or I played, so…what was the point?  However, what was weird was that, from an athletic standpoint, I could see how difficult it must have been to actually time your jumping with TWO ropes.  And I had to admit, I could appreciate the skill it took to make different hops, turn around, move back and forth within the ropes, etc.  I never TOLD anybody that, of course!  But it was that incessant waiting in the beginning…that weird swaying…that for some reason just ANNOYED me.  JUST JUMP IN ALREADY!

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I just had a conversation with a good friend the other day that reminded me of the old neighborhood, watching those silly girls.  “Don’t ANY of them play football?  Why do they exist, then?”  (I was a SLOW bloomer, all right)?  My friend was telling me about how he’s made some recent changes in his life.  He was a little worried about all of them, but he had placed his faith in God, and was wondering about when he should make moves, and when he should just let God do His work.  He was praying about it…and waiting.

BAM!  It hit me.  We all play double-dutch with God.  Swaying back and forth to the rhythm of our lives, watching…waiting.  Do we wait a little longer, or do we jump?  And how many of you have those friends yelling in your ear: JUST JUMP ALREADY!  TAKE CONTROL!  THIS IS YOUR LIFE!  Throwing your rhythm off…causing you to THINK…to doubt….  But there’s something in you…that FEELING…that tells you the timing’s not right.  That you need to do a little more being still (which is NOT the same as not moving)!  You can sway…you can do a little positioning…but it’s just not time to JUMP yet.  You know it in your bones.  And the more you practice being faithful, and the more you acknowledge the need to sometimes BE STILL, the clearer you can hear your inner voice: “not yet….”

In fact, as you learn to listen to that inner voice, the rhythm seems to slow, the spaces between the ropes get huge, dust, sticks, dirt, obstacles in the way get blown off…and then you hear it again: “jump!”

And, as life would have it, you repeatedly mess it up.  You step on the ropes, get all tangled up, make a mess, then step out and start to sway again….  You friends and family (and your enemies): JUMP!  Your inner voice: “you’ll know when….”  You make better and better-timed jumps as you move on.  All of a sudden, you find yourself doing a 180 degree hop and facing the other side…keeping your rhythm as you move.  You’re improving!!  Ahh shoot!  Are you going to do a flip next?  That move you’ve always thought you could do?  You FEEL it, don’t you?  The ropes don’t even seem to be there anymore, do they?

And there you go.  Skipping the double-dutch of your life.  God both at the ropes…and WITHIN you.  No wonder your timing gets better and better.  With that combination…how can you ever TRULY mess up?

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