Hokey Pokey Faith

September 5, 2022

“Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.” ~ Luke 14:33 The Message

You know how the song goes, “You put your right hand in, you put your right hand out, you put your right hand in, and you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey, and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about.” The song progresses until you “put your whole self in.”

As unspiritual as it sounds, there is something profound about putting your whole self in and shaking it all about. You are either all-in, or you aren’t. Jesus understood the “whole self in” part of things better than we ever can. After all, he literally threw himself totally and fully into being human in his incarnation. No part way for Jesus.

That is not to say that he never had second thoughts. He prayed that God would take the cup away from him in the Garden of Gethsemane. And on the cross he cried out, “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Married people get it once the honeymoon is over. Parents get during sleep interrupted nights with infants and sleepless nights of worry that don’t end when our kids turn 18 get it. Athletes, musicians, artists get it when the excitement of a game or a concert, or a showing is over, and practice begins once again. Those who follow the way of Jesus get it.

Being committed to something, being in a covenantal relationship like marriage, parenting, or any number of other things doesn’t mean you always feel it. It means that you stick with it, nevertheless. None of us do this perfectly. Our faithfulness is more like the hokey pokey. We put a foot in and take it out. Then try again. Occasionally, we put our whole selves in, and for a few glorious moments we glimpse eternity so much that it shakes us to our very core. And then it becomes too much or too scary, and we put our whole self out again. The grace is that God, in the person of Jesus, put God’s whole self in; God loves us with an everlasting love, is all in all the time.

Praise and thanks to our whole-self-in God. ~ Anne

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