Many of us remember the TV show Kung Fu of the early 1970’s that entertained us with martial arts. David Carradine (Grasshopper) played the part of an Oriental traveling nomadically across the American West of the late 19thcentury. The TV drama introduced us to the lifestyles of Shaolin priests while teaching their pupils in a Temple in China. I enjoyed the snippets of Grasshopper as he would travel back in his mind reflecting on his youth asking questions of his masters while he was growing up in the Temple.
“Master?” he says as he gazes out over the ocean from a cliff with the bind priest, his favorite teacher.
“Ahhh, yes, Grasshopper, what appears as one color from this spot is totally different when one is closer, much less down under the depths. I have been told there is vast array of colors, more than one can describe. Tell me Grasshopper, since I am blind, describe to me what color you see at this time.”
I made this conversation up. It was never in the script, but it sounds like it. Now let me get to what I really what to talk about, that being “Master.”
I was blessed to be introduced to the Lord as a young teenager. I have always prayed for wisdom, courage, guidance and so forth, however, let me share how I could have improved my walk with the Lord. I’m not sure I looked upon Jesus as my master. Let me explain.
If I prayed, “Lord be with me in this challenge,” or “guide me safely,” it was as if I was asking Jesus to be beside me. To a certain degree there is nothing wrong with this, just as there is nothing wrong with asking for courage. I used to envision God giving me confidence as I embarked on any new challenge or experience. Athletics, college, a new job, whatever. With Jesus beside me I felt safe and secure. Sounds good doesn’t it? But I’m not so sure anymore.
Like most Americans I was raised to be respectful of authority. This was definitely reinforced when I was in athletics, or shall I say it was forcefully enforced. It was again definitely brought home with my time in the military. However, I was never taught to be overly submissive to authority. In some ways that is good. I was also taught it is wrong to be a slave to anything or anyone. Sounds good, but here’s the problem. It has to some degree hindered my relation with Christ. It gives me hesitation in allowing him be in total control, much less bow to him as I would if he were my King. I do not recall ever bowing to anyone or anything. For most of recorded history if you did not bow to a king it very well could have been the last thing you ever did.
The 12 disciples of Christ, his eventual apostles, were very young, much younger than any pictures, paintings or movies depict. Most were probably in their teens while following Christ as their Rabbi. He was elder to them in age and knowledge. I know they sometimes walked beside him as their Rabbi and teacher, but I think most of the time they were merely following him. Watching, observing, learning as an apprentice would of their teacher or master.
As I mature in my Christian walk I am learning to bow more in my prayers, not just physically which I need to do more, but with a submissive reverence and abandonment. I still am going to question things but I want to learn to bow spiritually with a profound respect and happiness when doing so. For many of you this may have never been a challenge, but for me , well let’s just say I’m still a pupil. As I enter into prayerful thought my mind asks, “Jesus, (Master)?”
A voice whispers in my mind, “yes, Keith.”
“What does it mean to rest in the Lord?”
“Ahhhh, yes, my curios one, a very good question,” as a voice once again whispers in my mind. “Let us ponder this thought together.”