The kiddo I nanny loves to search for bugs. In the big rock pile in their backyard, the child picks up a rock, looks underneath to see what's there, and then marks the rock with a piece of chalk. When a bug is found, the child laughs and does a special dance in celebration of the life that was discovered. The child's joy is contagious!
What distinguishes the living from the living dead? Certainly there are a lot of things. The distinguishing mark that I'd like to focus on today is the difference between following and seeking.
One of the sad trends in the American Christian church across the denominations is a lethargy in worship and missiology. We tend to focus on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as though it were the only thing that Jesus meant when He said, "follow me".
One of my dear friends this weekend, at a Unitarian Universalist fellowship, gave a homily on Proverbs 8. This being one of my favorite passages (particularly as it relates to John 1) and she, being a very dear friend, I was eager to hear what she had to say. The main focus of her message was the same as Wisdom's call to Her followers: "seek and you will find". My friend encouraged her fellowship to seek after Wisdom, to be on the look-out for this thing called "God" and to ask lots of questions. We who were listening were encouraged to not be complacent in our spirituality, to rise up and discover something new about ourselves, to allow ourselves to be challenged and to grow in unexpected ways through this spiritual, playful game of hide-and-seek with a jovial, loving Creator.
A distinguishing mark of the living as opposed to the living dead is making the choice to discover something new. The transition from living dead back into the realm of completeness and life, which Jesus is in the process of ushering us into through the Holy Spirit, need not always be a difficult one. We needn't lumber after our Savior as a zombie after their prey. Remembering who we are and returning to realm of True Life can be as simple as playing a game of hide-and-seek with the God who came into our world as a little child so that we might know Her better.
Dear ones, do we strive to follow the Way, or are we seeking the Lord while He may be found? How often does a zombie examine the beauty of the landscape she finds herself in? Do zombies strive to become self-aware? Are zombies in the habit of enjoying their pursuits and sharing their joy with one another?
As a zombie who is becoming self-aware, and who is learning to dance once again, I call you to join me in the joyful game of hide-and-seek with our Creator. Let's remember what it is like to be alive! Let's not just follow our Lord, let's play!