Friday, March 18, 2011
Every year at Halloween, our church hosted a community fall festival event. Children dressed in costumes and came with their families to play games, chase greased pigs, and eat candy and junk food. Since this particular October fell a few days before a presidential election, some elected officials were scheduled to stop by and speak briefly to the crowds.
The event was a fairly large-scaled one. It was tough for us and our friends to keep track of our kids. When the officials were getting ready to speak, the children were asked to huddle in the front of the crowd. Being as short as Zaccheus must have been, the large crowd on flat ground meant there was no way I could see my daughter or her friends. So as my husband and our friends kept guard around the back of the crowd, I circled up to a nearby hill and kept watch on the kids from a higher level.
The main speaker of the evening was former President George Bush. After several officials spoke and shared their message, the president stepped to the podium. During his speech, he addressed the children in their different costumes, mentioning several of the characters they represented. Our daughter, dressed as a round, pink Pokémon character named Jigglypuff, began yelling “Jigglypuff”, hoping the president would call her character’s name. Much to our surprise, the President stopped his speech, acknowledged Jigglypuff and invited her to join him on stage. As I looked on, my daughter was shuffled by Secret Service agents until she stood onstage between Barbara Bush and the mayor of Orlando.
When the President finished his speech, he turned, bowed and began to have a conversation with our daughter. As I watched from my perch, unable to coach or give any quick lessons about how to properly address the President of the United States, Mr. Bush turned to the microphone and asked for everyone’s attention again. He then picked Libby up in his arms and held her up to the microphone while she sang a song about Jigglypuff. Yes, our six year old actually asked a former President of the United States to pick her up so she could sing a song. Trust me, Zaccheus was falling out of her tree.
As a six year old, our daughter had basically no fear. She seemed to feel everyone was equally accessible and did not hesitate to ask much of anything from much of anyone. Her life verse in those days could have been:
Yet you do not have because you do not ask. James 4:2b (NKJV)
While her encounter with the President was both thrilling and unnerving for me as a parent, I have to admit I loved her spirit in the whole event.
I have a Father in heaven that has both made me and bought me. And He has called me to ask Him for what I need.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7 (NIV)
My problem is that too often I find excuses to keep my needs to myself or share them in sad tales to my friends and family who truly have no power (outside of prayer, of course) to do anything for me but graciously listen. Too often, I forego the total access I have to the Creator of heaven and earth that has all authority and has already told me to ask Him about my needs. No Secret Service to scoot through. No yelling my name just waiting to be called. No protocol lessons necessary. All the requirements have already been met for me by Jesus, when He hung on the cross.
How about you? What do you need to ask your heavenly Father for today? You will need no clearance or have to wait to be noticed. He waits to hear your requests and answer your prayers. And when He does, it will be even more exciting than Jigglypuff meeting the President.