Last month was the 76 anniversary of the birth of the King. Small k…big E. Do you know what I’m talking about? Elvis Presley. If Dennis Wise was reading this, he would have known. Dennis is the epitome of the Elvis fan. His love for Elvis has driven him to bizare lengths. He even had his face lifted and his hairline contoured by a plastic surgeon to make himself look more like Elvis. Wise explained his passion to reporters:
Presley has been an idol ever since I was 5 years old. I have every record he ever made and thousands of pictures. I even have a couple of books in Japanese and Chinese and some leaves from his front yard. No sir. I never saw Elvis personally. I saw him on the stage four times. I stood up on the wall at Graceland once for 12 hours trying to get a glimpse of him. But he had so many people around I could never get close.
Think about that for a moment? He’s tried to conform himself to the image of Elvis. He has collected icons to remind him of Elvis. Four times he pilgrimaged for an Elvis experience. He probably knows everything there is to know about Elvis. But he never knew Elvis. Never had a relationship. Never had the opportunity to talk. Separated by 12 foot walls, he was never invited into his home as a friend.
Now let’s talk about prayer. I’m not sure how many of us have gone to the same lengths to see or talk to God, But I am sure that for the most part we have the same perception.
- * I know there is a God. I have every book He’s ever written and many written about him.
- * I’ve collected things that remind me of Him. Crosses, a special rock from that place where I thought I caught a glimpse of him.
- * I’ve gone in search of God-experiences..Sunday morning pilgrimages.
- * I’ve waited at the wall…but if he’s there I can’t see him because of all the people surrounding him.
- * I have never come into His home. I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with Him.
But listen to me…if you could catch a glimpse of His heart, do you know what you would find? Richard Foster writes,
Today the heart of God is an open wound of love. He aches over our distance and preoccupation. He mourns that we do not draw near to him… He weeps over our obsession with muchness & manyness. He longs for our presence. and He is inviting us to come home… His arms are stretched out…His heart is enlarged to take us in…For too long we have been in a far county: a country of noise and hurry and crowds, a country of climb and push and shove, a country of frustration and fear and intimidation. And he welcomes us home…
Home with the Father…that’s at least part of the reason iPray.