For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not "Yes and No"; but in him it is always "Yes." For in him every one of God's promises is a "Yes." For this reason it is through him that we say the "Amen," to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 1:19-20 NRS)
Hear the Story
In the summer before my fourth grade year, I was invited to spend a week on Angel Island, just off Tiburon in the San Francisco Bay. My uncle Cliff, a state park ranger for California, had been assigned to manage the yet-to-be-developed park land. It ended up being the best seven-day adventure of my childhood.
The only transportation on the island was an old, red fire truck. At least once a day, we rode around the island running the siren just for fun. During the week my cousin, Cliff Jr., and I caught crabs, fished off the pier, roamed every trail and explored every old building on what became our own "treasure island." We ate dinner at the old lighthouse, stayed up late telling stories, and listening to the fog horn every night.
It all started with that incredible first day. We were at Tiburon, loading supplies on the boat that would take all six of us over to the island. Boats were everywhere, even a few single-engine sea planes were moored near the pier.
One of my uncle's buddies offered to fly my cousin and me to the island in his plane. It was a "beyond my wildest dream" offer, but I knew not to get my hopes up. My mother would say "no, it's too dangerous," or "he's too young," or something like that.
But, my mother wasn't there. My uncle Cliff was in charge and he surprised us all. Cliff said "yes."
I was so used to "no" that "yes" stunned me for a second. The pilot grabbed us up and helped us climb into the plane. We strapped into the same seat, the engine fired up, we waved goodbye to family and up we went. It was so noisy we couldn't talk, but we could see everywhere. We flew low around the shoreline, landed near the island dock and taxied over to a ladder that led to the old red fire truck parked on the pier.
That day Cliff became my favorite uncle. It was unforgettable. It was a day filled with "yes!"
As Christians, we are so conditioned to think of right and wrong, do this, don't do that, "No!" In fact, we have become famous the world over, for what we are against, for our "no" lifestyle.
What about you? Do you have a "no" lifestyle? Are you known for what you can't do, for what you're against, for refusing to "yes" because it might be dangerous? Does that work for you?
Are you hiding in a fort of safety refusing to hear God's "YES?" Think of a time in your life, when "yes" thrilled you, when you felt the power of a strong vibrant confident, "yes." Tell about it. Tell me about it. Send me an email. There is faith power here. Feel it?
Be the Story
It's time to get it, get over it, or get out of the way. It's past time to get over the "no" perception that dominates our faith. We are called to live life, to be a blessing, to love, to wonder, to experience joy unspeakable, to bring out the best in people, and to be dispensers of grace and hope and light to our world. Get it?
Be the story of "yes" this week. Say it! Live it!