"He done lost his manners!"
When I was in college I was in a rap group (please don't make fun of me) and we traveled around a little and got to meet interesting people. On one such occasion I remember a guy we'll call Greg. Greg was a very funny and very open young man. Greg told us this story about his trip to a local water park the previous weekend. Greg said that something crazy happened on a tube slide at the park.
When Greg got to the top there was a kid who was afraid of heights but his parents made him come to the top of this huge slide. (When you're up that high it almost feels as if the entire structure sways back and forth so I can feel the kid's pain.) As my new friend Greg sat at the top of the tube preparing for launch all he could hear was this kid screaming "NO, no... I don't wanna go!" Greg sat back and as the lifeguard said "go", Greg was off. He enjoyed his ride. As he got to the bottom however, he looked back and saw a blob of something coming towards him. He said "It was a small mass of brown..." Greg continued "Yep, He done lost his manners!" (The scared kid had relieved himself on the ride and our new friend Greg was on the receiving end.)
My wife and I are in Baltimore for the evening (about a 4 hour drive from our home). During the drive I reflected on my life's testimony. I have a life story that 15 years ago would have set me up great to be a traveling evangelist. You know the kind. I grew up without a father at home, experienced with teen temptations, I accepted Christ while running the street and hanging with drug dealers, etc. I remember the first time I shared my testimony in public among strangers. I didn't know what I was 'supposed' to do. I was 17yrs old and between my Jr. and Sr. years of High School while a summer missionary in Houston, TX. I got up in a local church and shared what Christ had done in my life. There were so many people crying (I felt bad for making them so upset).
Later a nice older lady came up to me and said "Young man, that is such a great testimony." I remember saying without missing a beat (again not knowing church etiquette) "ma'am, thank you but my testimony is just beginning."
Do you remember your early years in Christ? Do you remember the passion with which you lived for Him? Do you recall that determination to make him known to all who will listen? Do you remember wanting to please your heavenly Father so badly that you were devastated when you sinned? So often times we lose focus of those early days and our 'testimony' is always mentioned in the past tense. I'm not advocating you beating yourself up and crying each time you fall. I am however highlighting the consequences of us 'slipping' and losing sensitivity to our sin. As a Christian we can also 'lose our manners' and cause problems for those around us.
I want to encourage you today to value your testimony as an ongoing advertisement for Christ. It took me until I was in my early 20's to understand the power of moral authority and a testimony that cannot be dismissed easily. It took me a while to realize that my testimony was God's way of communicating to the world how great He is and what He can do with a life given over to Him.
Today I encourage you to learn the lesson from Greg... "Hold on to your manners."
There are other people on the slide of life.
posted by Tally Wilgis @ Saturday, June 25, 2005
- At 4:43 PM, Phil Gerbyshak said...
Wow Tally! What a powerful picture you've painted about a life for Christ. Thank you for sharing with all of us. Definitely gave me pause to reflect. Thanks!