The minister was asking the small kids during children’s church to raise their hands if they had ever played the game “Tag”. In this day of video games and cell phones, it was good to see that every youngster raised their hand high.
The next question was if they knew what “Base” was. It is where you go to take a break and get some rest, one child said. Another volunteered it is where you go to feel safe. Sometimes the best answers come from the mouths of babes.
For most of the rest of the service I mulled over the concept of having a base in our lives. Especially in the drawn out aftermath of Hurricane Michael, there are a lot of people that just want to feel safe and get some rest.
Looking back on my life, there are times when I felt like I had been tagged. It is not hard to feel overwhelmed when you are dealing with your job, your kids, and your health. Something comes along and unexpectedly tags you and all things look uphill from there.
I have a vivid memory of being at Emory University Hospital. Following weeks of increasingly negative test results I had been transferred to Atlanta to deal with my health issues. I was sick of being sick and worn out, physically, emotionally and mentally. I felt like I had been tagged and didn’t have enough energy left to make anyone else “it”.
That night, in the darkness of that hospital room, I told God that I was done. I turned it all over to Him and let Him know that whatever was going to happen was up to Him. I was fine with that. Amazingly, I slept like a baby that night, feeling safe and getting much needed rest.
The next morning, for the first time in weeks, my bloodwork was improved. I had turned the corner. I was safely on base where I remained until my recovery was complete.
Facing death will change your life. Having God take your hand and walk you through the dark days will change it even more.
Over twenty five years later, I wish I could say I never had more trouble after I reached base in that hospital room at Emory, but that would not be true. I have been tagged and felt overwhelmed more times than I can count.
The difference is that I knew without a doubt that there was in fact a base in my life. There was a place where I would be safe and where I could rest when I was so weary. The knowledge that God was looking out for me and that no matter what, I would never be alone was and continues to be a source of great comfort to me.
Rick Warren once said that what gives him the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that God’s grace is going to give him the strength for whatever he faces, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.
That seems pretty much like home base to me.
Dan Ponder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org