Tag - You're It!


Tag - You're It!

     Maybe you remember some childhood games - like "Mother, May I", "Simon Says", "Hide and Go Seek", and "Tag".  In some of those games, you have to start over if you make a mistake; in others you drop out completely until the game is over and then a new one begins again.

     Tag was one of those games we played in different ways.  One way was that one child started out as "it" and everyone took off running.  Whoever was tagged by "it" then became "it" and tried to tag everyone else.  Another way called "Freeze Tag" meant that if you were tagged by whoever was "it", you were frozen and had to remain on the spot at which you were tagged.  If you were fortunate, another child who had not been tagged could run by and tag you so you would be untagged and then you were free to move around again.  Still another way was to pre-determine a "home base" at which a child was safe as long as they were in contact with it.  I do remember there being some time limits in that version or either whoever was "it" would count to ten and then everyone had to leave the base.

     This came to mind as I was editing the lost family reunion video clips that I had re-discovered last weekend.  I was talking with other relatives in the video (as I was videotaping the reunion in 2012) and I heard myself say "they must be playing tag at the foot of the cross."  I was watching some of my youngest cousins (to the third generation) play tag while I was standing outside the pavilion and looking up the side of the mountain into the little outdoor chapel of benches which had a big wooden cross at the top of it.

     Ironically, they were all hovering at the base of the cross, reaching to make sure they were in contact with it.  I learned that before they had started the game that the base of the cross was pre-determined to be their home base, their place of safety.  As I watched them play, however, I learned something more, something a little deeper and more insightful than just a game of tag.

     I couldn't help but reflect upon what I was observing.  They could have chosen any number of other outdoor items or locations to be home base, but instead they chose the cross.  My thoughts began, and lingered, and led me on a journey of reflection and questions.

     Was the cross my home base?  Was it a place of safety, of refuge?  Is it the basis for all that I do?  Do I desire to hover at the cross, to reach for it, to be in contact with it?  Has it been a pre-determined base for my life?  Is there anything that causes me to leave my home base?

     Jesus said in Mark 8:34

     "If any man would follow me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me."    

     It is not our touching the cross that changes us or even keeps us safe, but rather the cross touching us and reminding us that through His death on the cross, Jesus completely denied Himself even unto death so that we might live and have eternal life.

     The questions asked are some we might ponder as we go through the busy-ness of life.  And hopefully we'll tag someone for the kingdom of God along the way.  Tag - you're it!  And you're His!

     May the desires of our heart be so that we reach to be as close to Jesus as possible.  May we remember that He desires to be as close to us as possible, even to live within us.  As He abides in us, may we abide in Him.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.