Ever Try to Sing A Duet by Yourself?

Sketch singing his heart out.

Me either.  It seems kind of, well…not possible.  Or is it?

The boys probably don’t think it is such a crazy idea.  Well, maybe they haven’t sung a duet by themselves, but they have done things like it.

For example, when Dash (age 9, Autism, ADHD) was a toddler, he loved to play a Peek-a-Boo game called, “Who’s under the blanket?” , but not in the standard way.   For this game, there is supposed to be several kids, and one is covered with a blanket. The other kids are supposed to guess which child is under it.  Dash just loved this game when we’d play it as a family. After he learned the game, we caught him more than once, sitting by himself covered in a blanket singing the song, “Who’s under the blanket?, Who’s under the blanket?, Who’s under the blanket? Can you guess who it is?” and then pull his blanket off, surprising….himself?

And he’d smile and giggle and it was “oh so cute!”

Except…

Dash attached the enjoyment, the positive emotional charge he got from playing the game with us, to the game itself.  He love the game so much initially because he shared it with us.  It was the relationship,  lifted voices shouting in unison, “It’s Dash!” , the facial expressions and goofy smiles he saw when the blanket was lifted.  It was the shared experience that was responsible for the enjoyment of the game.  But he misdirected that fun-factor and attached it to the blanket and the game instead of us.

He thought he could recreate the fun he had all. by. himself.

And he tried, and tried and tried. I think he did recreate some of the fun by the memory of what happened the first time.  But he didn’t consider that he could have more fun, more of the same kind of fun,  different but just as fun experiences by playing the game with other people… in the context of a relationship.

Our “normie” (that is Quirky and Laughing‘s word for NT or neurotypical or typically developing) daughter, Princess Buttercup (twin to Dash) used to do a similar thing.

We had a friend who would come and take Princess out to do fun things, so she wouldn’t feel so left out when in-home supports staff would come and take Dash places.

When our friend would ask Princess what she wanted to do, she would always say she wanted to do exactly what she did the last time when they went out, and in the same order.

She just couldn’t imagine having as good a time doing something different, as she did doing what she already knew.  Princess had attached the fun-factor to the activities they did, instead of to spending time with another person…the relationship.

That one may be easier for us “normie’s” to relate to, but both the kids misdirected the love to something other than purely the person.  Don’t get me wrong, Princess Buttercup did love the person who was taking her out, but she still thought she had to recreate previous experiences to have maximum fun.

Isn’t that what we do with God?  We either seek after the things he gives us: gifts like blankets and games.  Or, we try to recreate a series of events in order to experience again a recent awesome experience with God, thinking that we can’t have another one like it unless we follow that same formula.  Do we put God in a box like that?

I wonder how often we become ritualistic or legalistic, dare I say “religious” in the things we do, instead of doing things because of our relationship with God.  We go to church, we worship, we read our Bibles, we participate in acts of service… but are we doing it out of habit? Do we do it because we were doing those things the last time we “experienced” God?  Or, do we do it because we so desire to spend time with the God who desperately loves us…do we serve because of the desire to share with others the awesome gifts the Father has imparted to us?

Have we misdirected our love, like Dash and Princess and taken it out of the context of relationship?

I wonder… just how often do we try to sing a duet by ourselves?

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Psalm 63:1 “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you , in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”

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