Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion September 28, 2016


It was time for Kids Fun Night.  The fourth Sunday of each month we have a fun evening for kids which is a way to let them know that church is not just about sitting still and learning things (although that is important!) but that we can gather together as the people of God and just have fun together!  
So we have done fun things - water slides and water balloon games and such and this Sunday was ‘body bumper games’!  I have accumulated a bunch of those plastic blow up things that you slip over your head and put your arms through arm holes and you’re body is protected by what looks like a upper body swim ring that covers your whole upper body with your head sticking out the top and arms out the sides and feet out the bottom.  The result is that you can run and bump into things and you just bounce off (ergo the name body bumpers!)
They are a whole bunch of fun for kids (altho my son and son-in-law who are no longer kids managed to put them on and play with them which was one of the funniest sights I have ever seen.  The video is on Facebook somewhere…..).
Well, that is the upside - they are a whole bunch of fun for kids.  When there is an upside there is usually a downside and in this instance meant that I had to blow up all the body bumpers and I had quite a few - in fact enough for every one of our children to have one.  
I started the week before because each body bumper has four sides and each side has its own blow into valve so with each body bumper you had four separate sides to provide enough air to inflate them…..
So I figured I could do a few a day and then by the Sunday night they would be done.  I quickly realized this was not going to be a very good option as after one blown up body bumper my oxygen was spent!  
The sainted husband then went and purchased an electric gizmo that made the job a bunch easier and I wasn’t going to have to worry about congregational members finding their pastor passed out in the floor!  By the  night of the kids fun night the bumpers were all blown up and ready to go.  And as promised the kids had fun!  And the adults had fun watching the kids have fun!
All was well.  But then, the realization was that the inflated body bumpers had to all be uninflated so they could be stored. Easier said than done because these body bumpers were designed to stay blown up - not to deflate (as they should be because you don’t want them losing air while kids are bumping into one another!)
So I opened all the valves - 4 per body bumper so it was pretty time consuming - and thought I could just leave them and later I would find them emptied of their air and ready to fold up and put away.
Well, that certainly was not the case.  Those ‘we need to prevent air from leaking out’ valves were doing their job.  The next morning as I walked into our fellowship hall fully expecting to find flat body bumpers - I saw a little bit deflated body bumpers but a far cry from body bumpers ready to fold up and put away!
So with each valve I had to squeeze the valve and pretty much lay my body over that one side of the body bumper as air was released.  And even after that the body bumper side still contained enough air that they couldn’t be folded up….
Now my job each day this week is to take each body bumper and continue to coax more air out so that (keep your fingers crossed!) eventually all the air will be gone and the body bumpers will be able to be folded up and put away……
Sure was easier to put the air in these things that get it out!
Isn’t that true with our life?  It is easy to get ourselves in trouble, but it sure is hard to clean up the mess afterward!  It is awfully easy to gain weight and awfully difficult to lose it!  Messing up our houses only takes few hours but cleaning it back up seems to take the rest of the week…..
Falling away from God happens before we know it and happens just as easily as gaining weight or messing things up.  We miss a couple Sundays, we get busy and quit helping with the things of he church, we quit our giving because of some extra expenses and then one day we realize what has happened.  What do we do?  Getting back into the habits of God seem almost impossible like getting air out of body bumpers.  The air has gone out of our relationship with God and God’s church and how do we get it back?
It isn’t easy.  It really is like getting air out of a body bopper.  It takes work - it takes prayer - it takes putting one foot in front of the other as we head back to the things we know we should be doing.  But with perseverance and with God’s help, we can restore that relationship just - and maybe even better - than it was before.  
You just gotta make up your mind to do it!