I’m in Florida for the week visiting my 93-year-old mother. I played golf and tennis with her into her 80’s but now we eat, take walks (pushing her in a wheelchair) and enjoy nap times!
Today I took her to the University of South Florida’s Botanical Gardens. They have a walking trail through the gardens. But the parking lot is more like beach sand. I was having trouble getting her wheelchair through the parking lot as I slowly passed by some workers on break. One man started giving me tips on how to turn around and go backwards through the soft sand. It worked. He gave me a big smile and said, “You’z home here.”
I don’t know why his words struck me so much. But he blew me away with his words of total acceptance. His smile, his tone and his words told me, “I don’t know you from Adam but I’ve got your back. I’m here for you. I’m looking after you just because you are on my property here.” His three words made my day. Total acceptance.
As I reflected more I think his words touched me so deeply because they were like a glimpse of heaven…a glimpse of God’s kingdom here on earth. In essence he was saying… “I don’t care about your past. I don’t care who you were. I just care about you now. You are safe with me. I’m on your side.”
I want to offer that same grace to everyone I meet. I want that acceptance present for everyone that visits my church. We are so good at distancing ourselves from each other. What if we got good at welcoming each other?
Who’s in your sphere of influence that needs to hear “You’z home here”?
Question: What makes you feel total acceptance? Leave you comment below.
Steven talks about watching The Voice for the first time. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s a take off on American Idol but different. Four judges listen to singers with their backs turned to the singers as they audition. If the judges like the voice they turn their chair around and qualify to be their coach. But the talent actually gets to choose the coach, assuming more than one judge turns around their chair.
Steven didn’t quite understand how it works. But he cued in on the idea that the judges accept the talent before they see them and he compared that to how God accepts us regardless of who we are. And that’s how he got the title. “Cancel the audition” means that we don’t have to try out for God. We don’t have to prove ourselves. God accepts us before the music starts! He said, we don’t need to achieve God’s acceptance. We just need to receive it.
It reminded me of what I read in the New Testament today. It said…
…let us live up to what we have already attained. Philippians 3:16
In other words, God has given us everything we need to live a Spirit-filled life of joy and success. Now just live it. Quit hoping that God is happy with you. Just live knowing that he is happy and let that knowledge take you to a new level.
Give Steven’s message a listen here.