The story, Oliver Twist, had a character called the Artful Dodger He was well versed in the art of evading capture and hunger by stealth and cunning. There is a baseball team called the Dodgers. They lived up to their name by dodging their opponents and winning the matches.
It is the way of human nature to dodge the issues of life and find ways and means of avoiding responsibility or facing the consequences of our actions.
MEET THE DODGE FAMILY
The Parent-dodgers sneak out after the parents have gone to sleep or have gone out. Sooner or later Parent dodgers get found out. Their activities curtailed. At the very worst, parent dodging ends up in the hands of the police and a detention sentence is imposed. In adult life, parent dodging leads to boss dodging. Faking our work ethic. It’s a form of cheating on the boss. It spills over into marriages and spouses cheat on each other, fidelity in marriage may not smart anymore it shows integrity and morality.
There are Work-dodgers, people who do as little work as possible for the highest amount of pay. If they are clever, they can climb the ladder and reach the office of CEO. Conversely, they can reach the office of the homeless, living in the park under a cardboard carton and fed by a soup kitchen.
There are Dish-dodgers. Dishes are piled in the sink until there isn’t a clean article in the house. Not very hygienic. Eventually, dish-dodging includes clothing, and the toilet. In
fact, every aspect of hygiene is avoided and we see videos of houses from hell. The whole house and contents should be bulldozed and carted off to the tip. Often though, someone cleans up the house and it is rented out again.
There are even God-Dodgers. These people or some of them, like to appear as though they are Christian. They go to church and attend church activities. They mix with Christian people and in appearance they are Christian. Within themselves they are evading God. They are withholding themselves from an intimate relationship with God
THE BETTER OF TWO WORLDS
The Artful Dodger escaped detection and was well fed, whereas the other boys starved. God Dodgers are trying to live in the better of two worlds but it can’t be done when dealing with God. God does not give himself, his gifts of his enlightenment to people wanting to sit on the fence.
What the God-dodgers fail to realize is – they may fool the pastor/priest, even themselves but never God. God looks at the intent of the heart.
Our parents, spouses, bosses will probably get very angry with our avoidance of work and responsibility on the other hand, God’s love is so vast and unfathomable that he isn’t mad at us. God has brought in an era of grace or unearned favor toward us. So, God is not mad at us. He and Jesus agreed that Jesus would be the scapegoat and bear the anger that should have been vented on us was poured out on Jesus.
GOD IS NOT MAD
Jesus appeased God’s anger toward us when he was crucified. Jesus carried my sin and yours on the cross. We now no longer face God’s anger. He is no longer angry at us.
If we decide not to be a God-dodger, then we need to accept Jesus into our innermost being. This acceptance of Jesus will open the door to a new intimacy with God as Father. There maybe four kinds of dodgers or more in the world, yet there is only one path to God, through Jesus and that was is by believing
God doesn’t see any evaders. When a person invites Christ to dwell in their heart, God doesn’t see them as dodgers anymore. They are his beloved children who he is pleased with. The miracle is: once we know God we don’t want to draw away from him, we only want to get closer. The more we know him the more we marvel at his love and are drawn to his love by his love.
God promised, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’