“He must increase; I must be being decreased.”
–John the Plunger, 1st century
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
–Paul, mid-1st century
“Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.”
–2 Corinthians 4:16, Amplified
The math is easy. Two thousand and seven minus nineteen hundred and sixty equals forty-seven. I did that without using my fingers, a calculator or calendars. When you get to be my age, you hesitate a little longer when someone asks how old you are. In a few years I’ll hesitate when someone asks my name but so far I’m good on that front.
Today I turned 47.
I hopped in the van this morning, headed for some TWG (Time With God) and as I locked my wheelchair into the driver’s side, I stole a quick glance into the rearview mirror. It may have been the way the sunlight highlighted the right side of my head but I had to do a double-take at the increased number of silvery strands that reflected back at me. Did it bother me? No, not one bit because I quickly referenced in my noggin the times that gray hair is meant to be a good thing in the Bible, even desirable.
Now, balding? That’s another matter altogether. I’ve moved from a hair brush to just moving some hairs around with my fingers. Soon I’ll just need a washrag. God is pretty much silent on the subject, too. Some people’s hair he numbers. Others (like me), He puts an asterisk beside.
(Total is pending.)
Sometime after my two older sisters came to be, my Mom suffered an unfortunate miscarriage. Had that child been born, I may not be here today. So, in celebration of this auspicious day in my life, come along with me into the courts and inner chamber of the Maker of Life. I’m SO glad to be alive! Even though I can squint and see fifty, and though flecks of gray are gaining momentum, I rejoiced today that with each passing year, I’m a little less ‘dead’. I’m so tired of carrying about this body of death that every turn of the calendar means I’m getting that much closer to putting on immortality!
Please indulge me for yet another entry into my prayer journal:
My Father, God and King,
This is the life! Early Fall, temperatures are becoming more civil…the color of the world even seems to have changed into richer tones…and I’m here with You on my birthday, looking forward to Your Presence to hold me and reveal more riches and the richness of Your grace and Life. Show up, Lord! Speak to me. Let me hear from Your Throne and heart; I invite You to tarry with me here this while. Walk with me and expound Truth to my ears and heart that I might gain a fuller revelation of the Son of God and may my heart BURN—burn on and burn out—for You.
Overwhelm me with waves of mercy, grace following grace, glory to glory and faith to faith. Baptize me in Your deep, deep waters and bury me in them that I might rise in power with You. O God! Fill me to fullness! Complete me! Finish Your work in me! May Christ be fully formed in me…pull me into Yourself that I might come to the complete measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ with no vestige left of Scott-the-old-man. I want You. I long for You. I can even say in this moment that my soul aches for You—please don’t let this ache go away! Bubble up through me, O Living Water! Fill me up to overflowing. I worship You.
I feel deep pools rising up within me. Look at me when Your eyes look to and from on the earth because I’m raising my hand so You can spot me. I’m here, looking at You, beholding You. Come to me, O One Who reigns! I owe my whole life to You and bathe in Your grace. Take me deep into Your waters but as they rise to find their level, raise me with them.
I’m not after counterfeit and make-believe or manufactured holiness or any ‘virtual’ oasis in this desert. I want You to reign in me and through me. I can’t wait for the day when Your Kingdom truly comes in all its fullness to me and completely shatters and displaces all the flesh and mortar kingdoms of my heart. I long for the day when You reign supreme and there is no rebellion, hypocrisy or conditional love in me. I cry for the day when Your radiance is so seen in me that “I” become transparent—yea, removed—that all that is seen is divine glory, and the fragrance of Christ so permeates me that all stench is removed. When LOVE pours out of me in measures only known in Heaven.
Thank You for life!
Thank You for bringing me into existence that I might feel Your Touch, love and redeeming grace. Thank You for allowing me to be “in the story” and for giving me a place in it where I can demonstrate Your Life and not be stumbling around in the darkness along with the whole of humanity. Praise You! I love living and today is an opportunity for me to tell it to my heart…
I’m a little more gray today but a little less ‘dead’, too. Each passing year gets me closer to removing entirely this body of death and to be fitted for the garment You are tailoring for me. I only ask for fabric that breathes, that is porous enough to more readily, quickly and noticeably display Your glory abundantly throughout eternity…“Not unto me, O Lord. Not unto me. But to Your Name I give the glory—“ (Ps 115:1)
A little more gray. A little less dead.
Today, as I look forward from this place in the time I have left, I recommit myself to these things:
· A little more death, a little less me
· A little more praise, a little less indifference
· A little more surrender, a little less selfishness
· A little more patience, a little less judgment
· A little more intention, a little less waste
· A little more passion, a little less paralysis
· A little more glory, a little less relevance
· A little more love, a little less self-protection
· A little more fasting, a little less indulgence
· A little more worship, a little less preoccupation
· A little more pilgrimage, a little less Egypt
· A little more faith, a little less rationalism
· A little more poor, a little less rich
· A little more listening, a little less noise
· A little more God, a little less theology
· A little more risk, a little less resignation
Thank You for my life, Lord. It’s Yours. Thank You for Your Life, Lord. It’s mine.
Giver of every breath I breathe
Author of all eternity
Giver of every perfect thing
To You be the glory
Maker of Heaven and earth
No one can comprehend Your worth
King over all the universe
To You be the glory
And I am alive because I’m alive in You
It’s all because of Jesus I’m alive
It’s all because of the blood of Jesus Christ
That covers me and raised this dead man’s life
It’s all because of Jesus I’m alive
–“It’s All Because of Jesus”
The Altar and the Door, Casting Crowns
What about you? What do you need a ‘little’ more of? A ‘little’ less of?