Sitting in His Presence
“You’re it!” would be words we liked to hear as children as we were enjoying our game of tag. Some call it ‘catchers’ or ‘touchers’. One child was nominated as ‘you’re it’ and got the game going by chasing after the rest of the players who ran away from ‘you’re it’ in order to stay in the game. The moment that you were touched by ‘you’re it’, you would have to sit down or leave the designated play area. This would continue until all the players had been caught, or until ‘you’re it’ gave up and selected one of the players who were out and called out ‘you’re it!’ and the game started all over again, with everyone who was out, being back in the game. Exhausting, healthy fun. So the game continued with shrieks of laughter and it was much enjoyed, until one of the players spoiled the game and at times an argument ensued and the joy of the game was over.
Some adults want to be “you’re it!” all the time. They have just never grown up. They simply must be in charge or spoil the success story by having it done their way all the time. They will insist that they are always right. They firmly believe that their way of doing things is the only way. They will run about exhausting everybody else to show how great they are, and delight in exhausting you, too! They secretly or openly delight when you give up such a worthless contest. They like to show up the weaknesses of others. They pick on that weakness and simply must show and tell how good, clever, expedient and superior they are. They enjoy putting somebody down or making others feel small, insignificant and worthless. They compete about everything, always have to win and must feel powerful and important at the expense of others. They remain in their cocoon of always being “you’re it”. I call them bullies. They might believe that they are statuesque, but the opposite is true. They spoil the ‘game’ of life for others.
It can be seen from very far away. Standing tall and strong. It is truly statuesque. Yet, despite its great height, it being with the wind and grants such a great deal of shelter to so much abundant life. It is a genus of the mostly Australian eucalyptus tree. But I am in Africa. It is an alien to this land, but despite this fact it stands tall, courageous and resilient. It unapologetically fulfils its function. Should you shelter beneath it and look up, you would not see the top. It is by far the tallest tree on the Farm.
Despite its great stature, it has not pushed out any lesser growth. Beneath this tree you will find many ‘gems’. A variety of plants grow in its shadow. Some have been deliberately planted, other have emerged as nature takes its course. In its branches and along its stem, there is an entire reserve of wildlife enjoying their safe home prospering from its provision.
Time allows me to dwell here sometimes and I have the opportunity to listen. The wind or the gentle breeze through its branches filled with leaves, buzzing insects and the songs of birds; all of us enjoying the cool shade it provides. Once again I am reminded that in God’s presence there is completed peace, safety and acceptance. In his presence there is never a need to be “you’re it”, no need to compete, no need to push others around and definitely no need to impress or having to prove myself and having to live up to unreasonable expectations. Such freedom! Such abundant life!
Revelling in His presence brings replacement therapy. This therapy comes free, but will cost you something. Here you will exchange your will for His will, your ways for His ways, your busyness for His fruitful productivity, your little kingdom for His Kingdom, your weakness for His strength, your thought and ideas for His. You will walk away mended. Your lack of excessive stuff, for His plenty, your simplicity for His wealth. A life much better lived and results much more fitting. No bullying and no bully with life in His presence. God Almighty is the most statuesque of all, yet He is not a demanding bully, despite His greatness, holiness, power and superiority to all and everything capacity.
Lingering awhile beneath this tree, renews my mind and restores my soul. I’m reminded of the truth, what He says: “We live within the shadow of the almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods. This I declare, that He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him.” – Psalm 91:1 and 2 LB
“If we don’t live by priorities we will live by pressures.” J John
African Blessings Missions Director