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Archive for March, 2013

A Royal Blessing

Role models and leaders know how to articulate their “end-game.” This is important because it helps followers understand overviews and gives them a peace on the way to their destination.

Such was the case when Jesus explained His strategy to “the guys.”

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)

When Thomas and Philip persevered in peppering Jesus about this strategy, The Lord thought it a bit incredulous and let Philip know it. “Are you serious, Dude?” (RJL version) For Christ could see His path to the Father as clearly as those who watch a movie preview that reveals way too much.

This end-game stuff all started for me when I became hooked on a song by Matt Redman called “10,000 Reasons.” I must have played it every other day on my guitar.

The tune’s third verse speaks of worshipping God from a death-bed and it struck me as something I’d like to aspire to; notwithstanding that some might believe it’s morose.

When I got to that third verse, I would envision my own final hours. But since I’d never truly been on death’s doorstep, I substituted the only similar circumstance I could think of. It was from the bible: “By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. …” Hebrews 11:21

While that’s a bit vicarious, it served me as I sung that song over and over: “And on that day when my strength is failing, the end draws near and my time has come, still my soul will sing Your praise unending, 10,000 years and then forevermore.” (from 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman)

Unbeknownst to me, God was preparing me for an object lesson the likes of which I had never witnessed. My spiritual father, Royal Cutler, slipped into a coma and I spent a lot of time at his bedside during the final week of his life. Just prior to Royal’s passing away, a friend and I began to worship God. With eyes closed and his life ebbing away, Royal immediately raised both of his hands and kept them up for a time despite all of the medical tubes that could have weighed down such an attempt.

Royal never came out of that coma. He also never ran out of “reasons.”

Now, every time I sing that verse, I understand the end-game.

Image

Rembrandt’s Rendering of Jacob blessing the sons of Joseph

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