Monday, June 29, 2015

Moving the Stakes


Fred Craddock often told the wonderful story about that remarkable evening during his childhood when his father called him out into the backyard of his home in Tennessee. Fred's father asked him to lie down in the summer grass beside him and to look up at the stars... and then he asked, "Son, how far can you think?"

            And Fred said, "What?"

            His father asked again, "How far can you think?"

            "Well, I don't know what you mean."

            "Just think as far as you can think up toward those stars."

            And so, said Fred, I screwed my imagination down, and I said, "I'm thinking... I'm thinking... I'm thinking."

            His dad said, "Think as far as you can think now."

            After a while Fred said, "I'm thinking as far as I can think."

            "OK then. Drive down a stake out there at that point.  In your mind, drive down a stake.  Have you driven down the stake?  That's how far you can think?"

            Fred said, "Yes, sir."

            And his father said, "Now, Fred, what's on the other side of your stake?"

            Fred said, "Well, there's more sky."

            And his father said, "Then, you'd better move your stake." 
            (from a sermon by Robert Dunham)

Lately I've been reading far more than I have in a long time. Most of the year is an exhausting blur where I bounce between tasks like a steel ball in a pinball machine. Contemplation gives way to a pragmatic "Git R' Done" mindset.

But it's summer, now.

And God is at work... calling me to examine who I am in Him and how faithfully I am carrying out His purpose.

When I think I've "moved my stakes" about as far as I dare, then that still, small voice whispers "more." 

I wonder if that's what Peter felt that night when Christ called him to step out of the boat?

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