He Isn’t Real
I created him while sitting in a deer blind. Since I don’t hunt, or even own a gun, I just sit and watch the deer, turkeys, and small woodland creatures. While sitting and watching, Ranger Rick sprung to life. He isn’t real.
He braves the natural world, scoffs at its danger. He yearns for uncharted wilderness, armed only with his trusty iPod, some popcorn, and a diet coke, which he drinks right from the can. His adventures are never more than half a mile from the comfy ranch house. He is a parody, born of whimsy.
At Camp United
At Camp United, our church’s Family Camp, Ranger Rick made four appearances to help introduce the lessons. He was silly, goofy, and cheesy and was almost funny.
After each appearance, Ranger Rick transitioned to just being Rick. The younger children came up and asked, “Are you Ranger Rick?” I responded, “Yes, I am.” Their eyes got big, they smiled wide, and then walked off feeling a little happier.
I guess to a four or five-year-old, Ranger Rick was real.
It Was The Hat
Our lives can be defined by the “hats” we wear. I have a family hat, a Senior Minister hat, a Fly Fishing hat, an author’s hat, and a few others. At camp, I had a Ranger hat.
Wearing a Ranger Hat doesn’t make me a Ranger. Wearing a Houston Texan’s football helmet, doesn’t make me an NFL player. I have a hat from the Indy 500, but I’m not a race driver.
I wonder, is there more to believing in Jesus than wearing a hat?
I can pose, pretend, and project the image of a true believer. But posing isn’t real, pretending is hypocritical, and images are one dimensional. I can’t be a Ranger Rick Christian.
I pray the children hear Jesus in my words, feel him in my heart, and know he is real.
That it’s not just a hat.