Duck, duck, goose. Pato, pato, ganso.
The classic children’s game that’s played around the world.
When we’d go into a school during recess, the little girls would take my hands and pull me over to their circle. They’d motion for me to sit down because they quickly learned I hardly understood their Spanish. I felt honored to be included in such a beautiful group of little people where I’m the different one. I don’t fit in with the dark-skinned, black-haired little girls. I’m tall in Guatemala, and I’m white, which makes me a gringa. (Gringa just means white girl and isn’t offensive but just what they call us!)
And the gringa always becomes the goose. Every time I would just finish sitting down and get comfortable again, another little girl would come tap me on the head and say, “Ganso!” with a mischievous grin on her face. So I’d jump up, as gracefully as I could since I was wearing a dress or skirt, and run around the circle as fast as I could so I wouldn’t end up in the melting pot.
Then when it was my turn to pick a ganso, all their little hands would shoot up, and they’d yell, “Me! Me!” They wanted to be picked by the gringa. They wanted to feel important and have the opportunity to run around. Me choosing them made them feel loved and wanted.
The circle of people playing duck, duck, goose reminds me a lot of the American church. We sit around in the circle making small talk and occasionally talk about God. You go because you want to feel included. You want people to see that you’re friends with those nice Christian people who seem to have their lives together. You want people who accept you as you are. And that’s great. But the thing is, sometimes we get too comfortable just sitting around in the duck, duck, goose circle we call church. We go to our Sunday school class, Bible study group, and out to eat, and we always sit with that same group of people who we’ve found comfort and friendship in. Still not a bad thing, BUT I think a lot of the people in the church miss out on the point of it all. You and I get too comfortable playing the game of “church” and being ducks, when God’s been trying to get your attention all along to tell you that you are indeed a goose.
I don’t know if you know it yet or not, but you got tapped on the head a long, long time ago. God’s been running circles around you, waiting for you to chase after him your whole life. He’s never taken his eyes off of you. He wants you. Even when you ignore him tapping you on the head, reminding you of his never ending presence, he just keeps choosing you over and over. You’re his beloved little gooseling, for lack of better words. Even when you choose coffee with a friend from your small group over much needed prayer time with Him, he still chooses you. Even when you choose catching up with Christian friends on Facebook instead of reading your Bible, he still chooses you.
And one day when you realize how much he loves you, you’ll stop just sitting in the church circle calling yourself a Christian and feeling like part of the in-crowd, and you’ll get up and actually pursue him. And it won’t be easy, but it’s SO worth it. You can finally step out of the circle of complacency and comfort and step into the wild freedom and beautiful surrender God offers you when you pursue him. You will learn how God is infinitely bigger and greater than you ever imagined. You will experience a new depth in your relationship with God that you can’t get sitting in church.
You might get dizzy or trip and fall a few times, but God will be right there in front of you guiding your path. All you have to do is chase after him and his plan for your life. And eventually, at the end of your life, after you’ve been chasing after him, you’ll be in the perfect posture to embrace him, running with arms wide open. Doesn’t that sound so much more fulfilling than sitting in the circle?
If you feel like you’re still sitting in the circle, I dare you to listen to God calling out your name. He wants you. I dare you to jump up and run after him. It will be the most exciting, scariest, and most rewarding thing you’ve ever done.
You are God’s chosen child. Chose to pursue him.