March 22, 2016


On a walk I encountered a clean-cut boy of about 12 years-old on a razor scooter. He stopped me and wanted to know if he could ask me a question. I said, “Sure.” He said, “Do you have any cigarettes?” Seriously…I kept on walking and tossed over my shoulder, “You’re too young to smoke and if you smoke you’re going to get lung cancer!” While I was miffed at his asking me for a cigarette, I have to acknowledge his boldness with a stranger. As a believer I can learn from such unfettered boldness. James said, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----I’ve read some of a successful man’s autobiography, a man who has circulated in the CIA amongst President’s administrations, for several years was CEO of Pier One, and has worked at level one under Rupert Murdock. A man who is so sure of the intellectual value of his life to the world that his autobiography fits snuggly into twelve hundred pages of three volumes (or should I say it fits there smugly.) This is a man who had completed only a two year program at a Texas college, then several years later was admitted into the Harvard graduate program, not by his intelligence, but by whom he knew and when he knew him. I would despise this man as an empty opportunist if I did not know him better as being a na├»ve adventurer with a “Jack Dawson” spirit (Kate Winslett’s Jack of “The Titanic”) magnified by a piece of advice picked up from an early life friend. He was already off to a great life adventure without having learned “Bob’s rule,” as his autobiography came to call it throughout its massive collection of pages.
-----Bob’s rule bothered me greatly when it was first introduced. Probably the bother was the utility to which Bob was putting this rule when Hank (the autobiographer) learned it. Bob gets up from his seat by Hank and crosses the barroom to sit down beside a lovely young blonde. Only a moment later this dishy blonde slaps Bob across the face, who then returns to his seat by Hank.
-----“What did you say to her to get slapped,” Hank asks.
-----”I asked her for sex,” Bob proclaimed as if it was natural as asking for a soda. “I got slapped this time. I get slapped often. But I get sex far enough times to keep asking.”
-----And that became “Bob’s rule” in this too massive to read autobiography, no, not asking for sex, but just asking. If you need something, or want something, just ask. That’s Bob’s rule. I marveled at it. I would hardly ask for a lifesaver if drowning. It was a new concept to me that asking could be effective because I had always imagined the blonde’s reaction and yours to the twelve year old scooter-boy to be asking‘s perpetual outcome.
-----But as Bob and scooter-boy both illustrate, asking can be more problematic to the asker than to the asked, especially when the answer is “yes”. This is where we must reflect upon that age-old adage, “Be careful what you ask for.” Bob most likely lived his life out in blissful immorality until it was time to meet The Judge. Scooter-boy will get enough yummy cigarettes to shackle him to a breath rotting habit itself anchored to a cancerous end.
-----Yet, when we are careful of what we ask for, Bob’s rule makes a wonderful difference in life. I still don’t ask people for much; my imagination is too quick to serve up the face-slap. But I have learned the Lord is whom to ask, and I have learned for what to ask. And so I “…rejoice in the wife of [my] youth…infatuated always with her love.” (Prov 5:18-19) Char’s affection fills me at all times with delight, a richness Bob will never know. Nor do I want to smoke anymore, because I don’t need to smoke; I have growing relationships with both the Greatest God and the sexiest lady. I’ve better things to ask for, and a better one than people to ask them of.

Love you all,
Steve Corey