Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mother May I?

When I was just a little girl, I used to play a game called "Mother May I". It's a childhood game where several of us would stand in a line, side-by-side with one girl standing about 50 feet in front of us serving as the "Mother". Our goal was to get permission from the Mother to move forward. She would issue commands..."take 3 giant steps forward" or "take 5 baby steps forward". Sometimes, if you were really unlucky, you had to take a few steps backwards...that seemed SO unfair! Whatever she said, we had to ask, "Mother May I?" before proceeding and once permission was granted, we could move forward. If we forgot to ask that all important question, we had to go back to the starting line and begin again.

This used to be a frustrating game for me because I was always at the mercy of the "mother" in front of me. Whatever she said, I had to do. Some kids moved forward quicker than others, we were all just at her mercy.

I guess this game is indicitive of how life works. We all have steps that we have to take in order to move forward and reach our ultimate goal(s)...Sometimes we are able to take giant steps, other times we can only take baby steps, and if we really have a bad day, we take a few steps backwards. It's not that one step is more important than the other really, it's that we continue to take the collective steps forward and avoid the backwards steps. In life, we are at the mercy of circumstances...sometimes they hinder us, but if we stay focused, we can always proceed.

As I get older, I often think about that silly childhood game. I relate prayer to asking "Mother May I"...of course, in prayer, we ask "Father May I?", If he says "yes", we proceed and move forward...if he says "no" do we listen and be still, or do we try to move forward? If we ignore the Father and take the ungranted "steps" we end up having to go back to the starting line...So interesting!

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