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A Parade in Honor of You

When you enter a crowded room, do you scan it for familiar faces? Looking for friends, for someone to talk with, someone glad to see you too: that excites us all. How awkward to visit someplace new and not know anyone, feeling unwanted and unsure, maybe even scared. This brings forward the Inner Questioner: “Am I someone, or no one? Am I good or bad? Should I impose myself, or hang back? Am I welcome here?”

When you enter a crowded room, do you scan it for familiar faces? Looking for friends, for someone to talk with, someone glad to see you too: that excites us all. How awkward to visit someplace new and not know anyone, feeling unwanted and unsure, maybe even scared. This brings forward the Inner Questioner: “Am I someone, or no one? Am I good or bad? Should I impose myself, or hang back? Am I welcome here?”

Well, like the story of Cinderella, the Prince in his Castle has issued you an invitation to a grand ball to be held in honor of his Bride. “Who me? He is Somebody and I am nobody! What do I wear? Will anyone be there that I know? What kind of music and what dances do they play? Help!”

The Prince wants you to have a good time and feel at ease. So he has asked people whom you have influenced to greet you when you arrive along the Parade Route at the entrance of his walled city. His Castle occupies the high ground at the top of God’s Mountain. He has cut steps into the rock to help you ascend to the top, knowing everyone along the parade route is cheering you on. They are rooting for you and know you’ll make the grade. All along the streets people will come up to you to say, “Thank you. Thanks for praying. Thanks for encouraging. Thank you for being there!” Do you like to hug? How about dozens, hundreds? Even people who once had problems will have them no more. You’ll be glad to see them. You are welcome here!

Your heart has had glimmerings of the Prince’s glory, even through the crappiness of life. You have heard that he came down once from his castle to bring people back to his home, but that he was unrecognized and rejected and crucified instead. The Prince overcame death and came to life again. He then offered everybody a Second Chance to know him and follow him back home. In fact he said, “I have given you in your spirit everything you will need to live in light and escape the shadows and darkness that drag you down. In fact a seed of My Glory is now in you too, if you accept it. If you really want what’s really real, go for it! The crappiness of life will cling to you, but you can come out shining.”

By trusting in the Prince’s Promises (you need to keep reading them to remind yourself), the next step is to practice being of good character (you know: honest, trustworthy, clean, helpful, patient). It won’t be easy, so the second step is to practice self-control (“garbage in; garbage out”). You’ll find perseverance is the ingredient to add to self-control to keep you taking that step carved into the mountain. (You always knew mountain climbing was hard!) You don’t have it in you to be perfect by yourself, you need the power of God. He put His spark into you and He will keep talking to you and reassuring you of His ability. As you near the summit, you will keep helping other climbers with your caring and with love that comes from God Himself.

“If you practice these steps more and more, you will be productive and effective in knowing Prince Jesus. Those who lose sight of the goal become nearsighted or blind, forgetting the price the Prince paid to get them to the Castle. But if you keep going, He won’t let you fall. Instead you will receive a Grand Entrance into the City. All the people you have loved and helped and prayed for will be there to greet you and thank you and celebrate your arrival! And the joy of meeting and talking and singing and dancing will never end.” (Second Letter of Peter, chapter 1)

I am looking forward to seeing familiar and new loving faces when I get there. I want to see you there too!

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