Who Do You Want to Be?

I had a mission before me this morning, so I prepared.  I ate a meal, used the bathroom, twice and put on comfortable clothing, and shoes.  I gathered my necessary paperwork, ran down my checklist.  I was ready.  Yes, I was going to the DMV.

I arrived early, and the line inside the door wasn’t too bad.  I was hopeful to be done before needing another bathroom trip.  You don’t want to be in there when they call your number! 

(Hmmm, that sounds like a future blog.  I’ll have to write that down.)

Okay, I’m done putting that idea in my notebook.  I made it pass Charlie Checkpoint Number 1.  I had the proper paperwork with me.  Next, I had to fill out a small form I was given at Charlie Checkpoint Number 2 and then pay attention for my number to be called.

“Number 462,” cried out the attendant, who then directed me as to which window to proceed to.  I greeted the woman, whose grey hair was pulled back into a pony tail, with a warm smile.  I have learned, the hard way mind you, these people own you for the next few minutes of your life and you want to be on their good side.  I also thanked her for serving us, and was thinking, “Flowers.  I should have brought flowers!”

As she proceeded through her own checklist she begin asking me questions.  “What color do you want your hair?”  “What color eyes do you want?”  “How much do you ‘want’ to weigh?”  And my favorite, “How tall do you want to be?”

It was in that moment I felt as though she was asking me, “Who do you want to be?”

As I left I was still thinking about that question.  The obvious answers came to mind, “A Christian”, “A Disciple of Jesus Christ”, but those seemed cliché.  After getting home I saw a friend had shared a short message by Rev. Craig Groeschel.  Craig explained that the first people to follow Jesus were called, “the Way”.

“All this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master’s disciples, out for the kill. He went to the Chief Priest and got arrest warrants to take to the meeting places in Damascus so that if he found anyone there belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem.” Acts 9:2 (MSG)

In other words, these individuals didn’t just accept the truths of Jesus, but also accepted and adopted into their own lives the “way” Jesus lived.  I agree with this kind of life, and this is who I want to be.  One who lives the same “way” Jesus did.  The only external identifiers that matter are, what comes out of my mouth, and how I react to others, for who they are, and how they have chosen to live.

I want to be like Jesus, who not only was the way, but showed the way to his Father, and lived in a particular way that was pleasing to his Father, God. Who do you want to be?

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Knowing the Way

040420When I was four years old I was able to show people how to get from our house to JCPenny.  I didn’t know the street names, but I knew when to get off the highway, and when to turn and which way.  This may be more important; I knew how to get back home.

Funny story; when I was five, we had been to JCPenny and other stores at the outdoor mall, it was the mid-sixties okay, and I had seen at least four different “Santa Clauses”.  Something just didn’t add up.  Then it hit me, and while we were on our way home, I blurted out the truth of how the whole thing worked.  My mother almost wrecked the 1963 Chevy Impala trying to reach over the back of the front seat and slap my legs, or whatever she should make contact with and screaming at me, “Shut up!”  My older sister started crying and whimpering, “It’s not true!  It can’t be true!”

A couple of years ago, I was working security at my church, when a middle age couple approached me and asked for money.  They said they had been in town to visit his sister who was in the hospital.  They shared they had intended to drive into town, visit, and drive back home.  Instead, they said they got lost and turned around several times.  So much so, their gas tank was almost empty.

I felt bad for them, and I didn’t give them cash, so I walked across the street and filled up their car.  While the man she was living with, it was an impression, went in to the store to do something, I had the opportunity to speak to the woman sitting in the car.

After meeting them I kept getting a feeling, or was hearing from God, that she used to go to church, but because of some bad choices in life had gotten away from the faith of her youth.  I squatted down so I could look at her in the face through the driver’s window and said, “I feel like God wants me to give you a message.  He wants you to know he misses you.”  She started crying.  I said, “I feel like you used to go to church when you were a little girl.”  She, now wiping tears, mentioned, “My grandma used to take us kids every Sunday.”  I encouraged her to, no matter what, with or without him, to go back to church again.  I told her I was sure God wouldn’t hold it against her that she had been MIA for so long, because he just wanted to see her come home.  Hang out, talk, and get caught up.

Before writing this blog tonight, I got the impression there is one, or perhaps many people who need to go home again.  Not just to a “church building”, but to a place where you can learn the true nature of God.  How much he loves you.  I think the message God had for her is similar to the message he wants you to hear.  If you don’t know how to find your way home, ask Him to help you.  He will.  He knows the way.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.