Sleeping Bag


When I was a little boy, no more than seven, my Dad would play a game with me.  The purpose was for me to be completely blind; for me not to know what was inches before my eyes and my ever-curious fingertips.  While nearly clueless, I always new I was safe.  I always doubted which room I was in, which level of the house I was occupying, which direction I was facing. Was I high in the air, or centimeters from that cool linoleum coated laundry room floor?

Tall, strong, and no longer bearded like Grizzly Adams, he would take my old yellow, cotton-piled, Crayola Crayon sleeping bag and put me inside.  I can still hear that clanky, loose zipper go from baritone to soprano in less than a second.  I was a tight ball of anticipation with all my weight centered on that lower seam that was meant for squirming over-tired toes after a long campfire, not 60 pounds of condensed, giggling boy.  I remember the strength that came from his biceps as he would raise me from that violently bright green carpet we had in our long, narrow living room overlooking a pine tree that seems to never stop growing.  His muscles only got a break as rested before he readjusted the bag on his right shoulder and continued walking.

I’m not sure if he made the adventure up, if his Dad did it with him when he was little, or if it was simply something he stumbled upon during a long Sunday afternoon as I became bored and he became desperate to not go insane.

Daniel 6:23

The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

I knew I was safe.  That he who held my small frame over those dark-brown stairs was trustworthy.  Would I bump my arse on that hard entry tile in the basement?  Maybe, but he would never leave or give up on me.  He was appropriately aggressive through my laughter as we bounced along and quickly tender if I turned needy.  He was the stability in my unknown.  Partners in my excitement, comforter in my fear.

Every time I allow fear into my day.

Every time I let my mind play in a pool of anxiousness.

Every time I let stress lace my thoughts.

Every time I doubt.

Every single time…all I am really doing is forcefully proclaiming “I do not trust you.”

When what lives there is invaded, it has to leave and can’t return until what invaded has been evicted.

What a peace trusting in the trustworthy brings.  It allows us to be awake to every moment of experience.  The tough, the easy.  The enjoyable, the painful.  It lets us live life, not cower in an emotional corner locked by recycled thoughts.

That peace allowed me to enjoy not knowing which room I was in, which floor I was on, which direction I was facing.  I was able to fully enter in and experience each movement of that sleeping bag adventure.

Each small scary moment.

Each “stomach-drop” with the fast up and down of the bag.

Each time the light allowed in through those stitches changed shades providing small clues to where I was.

I had an innate trust in that recently shaven man.  I didn’t question.  I didn’t doubt.  I wasn’t anxious.  I trusted and trusted fully.

What then…what gets in the way between us and God?

Maybe…just maybe it has to do with our thinking

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