Saturday, August 8, 2009
"Is It Oso?"
In the last few months, our boys have gone crazy for a new cartoon, Special Agent Oso.
"Oso" is a teddy bear fashioned after James Bond, and he is routinely sent out on missions to help young kids trying to complete random tasks. Oso arrives on the scene out of the blue and lends a hand, much to the appreciation of the child who needed help.
For kids who just can't get enough of Oso, parents can go online and sign up for a personal phone call in which Oso will call your child by name and assign a special mission to complete around the house.
A few weeks back, my wife Kristi lined up both of our boys to receive "the call" from Oso, and it went over big. Both Benjamin and Jonathan were blown away by the phone call, listened intently to Oso's message about replacing the batteries in the household flashlights, and talked about the phone call for days.
I'm not sure we had fully grasped just how excited our boys were by Oso's call, until a few days later, when Kristi's cell phone rang and 2 year-old Jonathan, snapping to attention, asked, "Is it Oso?"
Now, that is a kid who is eager to hear from his favorite cartoon character. He just can't get enough.
Isn't that how it is with those we love, while we are apart? We want to hear from them. We look forward to any word that might come, and we appreciate the message when it arrives. If the message is written, we don't stop at reading it once. We just can't get enough.
"The days are coming," declares the Sovereign Lord, "when I will send a famine through the land -- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord." -- Amos 8:11
God's people, throughout history, have not always demonstrated love for Him in their appreciation of His message. In fact, in Amos's time, God decided He had had enough of seeing His message ignored, and told the people He would withhold it for awhile, knowing it would be sought again:
"Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it." -- Amos 8:12
Sometimes we don't know what we have until it's gone.
Have you forgotten the taste of the Word of God, the taste described as being "as sweet as honey"? (Ezekiel 3:3)
Has the hearing of His message become so commonplace that your ears no longer perk up and give attention to its reading?
Can you imagine the irony of camping next to a fresh water spring, and never quenching your thirst with its water?
Or, forgetting you're thirsty altogether?
Is God's message greeted with eagerness from listeners who can't get enough? Or with apathy, from people who think they've heard enough?
The proof lies in what we do after hearing. (John 14:15)
I'd better go see about those flashlight batteries...