Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You've Got Sole!

Conception. Birth. Infancy. Childhood. Adolescence. Adulthood. Death. Seven stages of your life and mine. Most of us have used up the first five and transitioned into the sixth. Unlike the others, there's not a chronological mark that tells us when we're going to the next.

Some of you are just getting used to the sixth. Like breaking in a new pair of boots, you are learning who you are as an adult. Others of us have thoroughly broken into the sixth and settled into a well-defined pattern of behavior and thinking. Life at this point is about comfort. Our boots may not have the shine they used to, but they're comfortable. Still others of us are not just broken in, we're breaking through! The boots are getting so worn, they're falling apart. We're not sure how much longer they will last. Soon enough, there won't be anything left but the --- sole.

Look at those seven words at the top of the page again. Is there anything missing? Of course there is. Even if the whole world is a stage, life is more than stages. While there's so much more to life than those seven words, there's one word missing that is the most important of all: Purpose.

Purpose answers the question, "Why?" Why life? Why the stages? Why did I start as a twinkle in my parent's eyes and end up as a tearful memory in the eyes of my children?

What's the point of going through those seven stages? Surely you've thought about this. Please tell me you've wrestled internally with this and not just accepted what others have told you.

What is your purpose? What is mine? To be another human on the assembly line of human history? Here I come. There I go. That was fun. Really?

Whatever your honest answer is to the purpose question will naturally and logically lead you to the existence of a personal Creator. If you say, "My purpose is to love...or make a difference in this world...or help others...or observe and appreciate life and beauty..." ---- you've led yourself naturally to see that you are expressing a reflection of the nature of your Creator.

Since there is a Creator, who is He and what is His purpose in creating me and you?

Come on. Keep going. Don't stop. Even if it goes against everything this world has taught you, you owe it to yourself to wrestle with the purpose question and follow it's trail until it leads to the pot of gold known as "truth."

Even if you've been taught there is no such thing as tangible truth, don't let other people put stop signs on a trail when your heart says there is more beyond. Your boots are wearing thin. You've got a sole to think about.

You and I both know people who went on to stage seven early in the sixth stage while the boots were still new. Others have skipped some of the other stages and gone to the seventh. There are no "Seventh Stage Two Miles Ahead" exit signs.

It's a dangerous thing to get comfortable short of the truth. Keep going, please. And be honest.

The sole may die, but...

A Soul Lives Forever.
Perry Crisp

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lynn, May I?

Did you ever play “Mother, may I” as a child? I remember playing this game a few times. Each time, it was with my big sister, Lynn – the mother of all “Mother, may I” contestants. She was the oldest and the only female among us three children, so she felt it fitting that she should always be the first mother in the game of "Mother, may I."

My brother, Mark, and I never ever made it to the finish line to dethrone Lynn as top mama. Occasionally, she would feel generous and say, “Yes, you may.” Unless you asked for giant steps. As long as Lynn was big mama, it was baby steps or nothing. By far, her favorite answer was, “No, you may not!”

She was cute and always smiled when she said it, but there was something sinister about the whole thing. Thankfully, the cute part of Lynn has stayed with her and the sinister part has eroded over the years…I think! (I guess we’ll never know until or unless we have a “Mother, may I” rematch!)

Other than recalling the goofy eyeglass frames of the 60's that Lynn and Mark both wore back then, I don’t have fond memories of “Mother, may I.” But there is another game I absolutely LOVE to play – “Father, may I?” Actually, it’s not a game at all. It’s a way of life for the believer. “Father, may I” is the greatest conduit to the largest supply of resources in this world or any other.

Our Father has unlimited resources to match His unlimited love and grace. His only begotten Son, Jesus, taught us all about “Father, may I.”

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8, NKJV).

I’ll get us started and let’s all make it a daily part of our lives to say, “Father, may I?”

“Father, may I see Your mighty hand of revival sweep across this continent again?”

“Father, may I have the privilege of sharing your love and grace-message to one more person?”

“Father, may I sit near You for awhile and tell You I love You over and over again?”

What better month than the month of “May” and what better week than the one which holds the National Day of Prayer (this Thursday) to renew our zeal to ask, “Father, may I?”

Yes, You May.
Perry Crisp