Basketball with Jesus
Several years ago, I had an encounter with Jesus that changed my perspective of Him in a profound way. At this time in my life, I was so busy cleaning theaters and working late hours to provide for my family and was so worn out.
We were driving home with my kids and nephews in the back seat and as we pulled up to the house, they all started shouting about someone being in the driveway playing basketball. As we got closer, they were all so excited and said “it’s Jesus! It’s Jesus! He is playing basketball in the driveway!”
They jumped out of the car and started to play basketball and asked me if I wanted to play with them. I was tired and wanting nothing more than to spend time with Jesus. I went up to my room and began to seek Him through prayer and devotion, but I couldn’t connect with Him.
Then I heard Him say, “Why don’t you go outside and play basketball with me?”
It was such a new idea for me that I could encounter Him in such a playful way. I had been so trained to seek devotion intensely through hours of prayer and when it was hard for me to connect, I would push in more and didn’t know how to just be with Him.
I went outside to play, realizing that the Lord was outside playing basketball, attuning to us, in heart to heart connection with where I was in my difficulty and tiredness. God was with me wanting communion with in the middle of our day.
I joined them and felt free, like there was no place I had to be. I had other things I could have been doing but I stopped and attuned to God--where He was, what He was doing, what He wanted to do. I attuned to His voice when He called me to come and play outside with Him. I saw how He really was attuning to me, adjusting to where I was. He knew exactly what I needed in that moment to feel free with Him.
We laughed together as Jesus stole the ball from us. We bantered back and forth in fun appreciation. I felt cared for like the heavy weights of stress I had been carrying were lifted off me. Just the Lord having fun with us, wanting to be with us as the sun set. He was celebrating us, our lives. He was a playful God as He had originally been in the Garden of Eden wanting it to be a wonderful celebration of life. Even work was to have been a joy with Him.
God comes as a friend who just wants to be with us. He didn't expect me to be a machine or follow a formula to encounter Him. He was right there and entered into my rhythms, the way He designed me. I had believed there was only one way to attune to His presence, but that day He showed me He was truly the God of the Day- the God of all of life, even play! He was the God of Play Therapy who was celebrating me.