Do you remember those childhood races of long ago? I do. They are part of my love affair with my childhood.
Drive down to Laurel, MS with me. Let’s find First Ave. Now we have to look for 1924 First Ave. That’s where my races took place.
On a hot summer day you would find me, (Billie Jean) Paul JR., Ouida, Bo and Mammie Rea all barefooted and lined up for the race.
One of us would be “It” and call out: “ON YOUR MARK!…GET SET!…GO!”
We took off, never feeling the stickers hidden in our front yard-racing track. We took off with energy and the love of the race. Strange, but I don’t remember who was the fastest runner. It wasn’t important to us. We simply ran for the love of it.
Today, with that same energy and love, I want us to move or to race from “You got to be Kidding, Lord” to “Now I got it, Father.” I finally got this idea, this feeling, and this action of love from my Father’s point of view. My first lesson was:
“Consider the lilies how they grow.” Luke 12: 27
My response: “Father, You have to be kidding! I know when Jesus used the word ‘lilies’ he was referring to the wild flowers scattered along the wayside. I also know most folks don’t see them at all; and surely this part of your creation never fusses over their outward appearances. My world today fusses over being seen, being well dressed, being well off. These fussy people are filled with such harshness and ‘tricks of the trade.’ They even apply it to your work. So when I consider the lilies do you mean for me to not fuss over outward appearances and depend on you to grow me?”
His reply: “My child, you are almost there. I have a lot of lilies out there getting overlooked by the world. You need to find them for me and love and encourage them just for me. Don’t forget, in all your business for me, to look for my lilies.”
My response: “Finally, now I got it! I’m to be like the lilies in that they depend on their Creator to grow them. As my Creator, grow me to be more like your Son who never overlooked the lilies in need of love. Do you have anything else to teach me about your love? You do.
“ You will tell people about me everywhere.” Acts 1:8
My response: “You have to be kidding! Is that what you really want me to do…to tell your story. That scares me. What if I mess it up? What if they don’t what to hear your story? What if they stop liking me for bringing it up? Okay, just what do you want me to tell them?”
His reply: “Tell them, even though you are a writer, you are not the author of the story of my love. You are just my errand person to remind them I love them; tell them I want them to come home. Don’t forget to tell them I have prepared a way for their homecoming. Then I want you to be living proof of what Jesus can do for them and in them. Out of the fullness of your heart you speak and write of me and my love”
My response: “Father, finally I got it! You want me to bear fruit. As I understand this, I bring you and others together through my prayers and my actions of love. Then your Holy Spirit can have more room to work in their lives. It also moves Satan back of the playing fields of their lives so you can have more room to work your love, too. Right? Is the track to put your story on inside me? Is it an over flow of your love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, mercy, faithfulness and self in step with you? How can I keep silence when others are crying out, ‘Tell me the old, old story of Jesus and his love?’”
I think I understand the race of love better now: it’s being one with you, Father, in my mind, motives and movement. Are you telling us today to…get on your mindset mark, to get set in our heart to find your lilies, and to go as your errand person to love them for you? That is one race I want to run in spite of all the “stickers” of hate out there.
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