" 'Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.' Now this He said, signifying what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, 'Follow Me!' "
The Risen Christ described the life that was in store for Peter. His life would end not according to his will, his way or his wishes, but by the hands of others. John explained the words of Jesus referred not only to Peter's death, but to the way he died. He glorified God.
Jesus told Peter he would be led to the finish line of his life against his will. John affirms Peter glorified God every step of the way down the line. Peter was not a perfect man, but his life had a perfect ending. He glorified God throughout his life, and with his last breath.
My father's life came to an end one year ago today. Carved on his grave marker are Don Miller, the dates 1922-2015, and four little words, TALK LESS! PRAY MORE! To the eyes of the casual observer, these chiseled words provide a brief summary of Dad's long life. In Dad's case, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
If the little dash between Dad's dates could talk, it would tell of many tears, trials and triumphs Dad experienced throughout his life. My oldest brother was privileged to hear Dad's last words spoken on earth. As Dad was stirring restlessly in his bed, trying to get up, my brother asked him, "Dad, where are you going?" Dad responded quietly, "Almost to glory." From a hospice bed, Dad finished his race. He dashed to the finish line. My goal in life is to follow Dad's lead, and to finish the race. Who is with me?
Life has a beginning and an end connected by a dash between the dates. Peter's reunion with Jesus reignited a fire in his heart for a First Love relationship with Jesus. Similarly, the dash on Dad's stone cold marker is a symbol of the red hot flame in his heart that was fueled by his passion for Jesus. Prayer was the air he breathed to fan the flame in his heart.
The Risen Christ called to Peter, "Follow Me!" With these two simple words, Jesus pointed the way to the finish line for Peter, and to every believer. In the Kingdom, the way you come into the Kingdom is the way you continue on in the Kingdom. Fellowship with the King is expressed by following Jesus.
"Prayer is the intimate communication between the Heavenly Father and His child." Don Miller, 1922-2015
NOTE TO SELF: Prayer fuels your following and your fellowship with the King. Make sure the dash between your dates is fueled by your passion for The Savior, not by an obsession with the system. In the end two things matter in your life. Follow Jesus and glorify God. Pray your way through every tear, trial and triumph. Prayer fuels the fire in your heart for a First Love relationship with Jesus. Keep the fire alive. Follow Jesus.
TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!