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Father, May I
by Pam Ford Davis 
04/25/12
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I remember childhood games: hide-n’-seek, blind man’s bluff, doggy got a bone, follow the leader, pin the tail on the donkey, statue, gossip, red rover, Simon says, dodge ball and the occasional kick-the-can. Likely, I’m leaving something out, as childhood is now a distant memory. I vividly remember playing Mother, May I?

The role of Mother afforded players to taste of being one in authority. I don’t recall this being played with neighborhood boys. I guess “Father” would easily replace mothers. My girlfriends and sisters played both inside and outdoors. The number of players in the game were as low as two, but there was no limit as to how many more could play.

There were few rules in playing the game. Mother and players faced each other at a distance. She gave to one-by-one her permission to step towards her. It went something like this… “Pammy, take three baby steps forward.” I’d respond. “Mother, May I?” With her permission, I’d move forward by tiny steps.

Giant steps-when granted, I greatly appreciated! Reaching mother was the goal; in the excitement of the game, I sometimes followed instructions to proceed without voicing the simple “Mother, May I.” In regrets and disappointment, I’d have to follow mother’s command to step back to where I started the game.

Life is no childhood game and yet I sense the authority of my heavenly Father. I advance toward him most frequently by baby steps. His response to “Father, May I” is in the affirmative. He stands with open arms. If I move ahead of his will, presuming it is permissible, he is just in sending me back to square one.

Four straight lines make up a square as four walls. Stepping inside, walls form secure barriers. I can take a time out and remember the importance of submitting to Father’s authority. “But Samuel replied: ‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22a NIV).” I must remember God’s supreme authority. “Father, May I?”


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