The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 8/31

Posted on | August 31, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 8/31

scripture reading: Psalm 103:8–14

Frivolous Fun

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.  (Proverbs 17:22, NKJV)

Aged 91 at the time, Rev. W. O. Taylor told the following parable, an alliterative version of the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11– 32), a number of years ago at a breakfast meeting for retired pastors attending a Southern Baptist Convention. Though he was the oldest pastor present, his wit was perhaps the sharpest.

Feeling footloose, fancy-free, and frisky, this feather-brained fellow finagled his fond father into forking over his fortune. Forthwith, he fled for foreign fields and frittered his farthings, feasting fabulously with fair-weather friends. Finally, facing famine, and fleeced by his fellows in folly, he found himself a feed flinger in a filthy farm lot. He fain would have filled his frame with foraged food from the fodder fragments.

“Phooey! My father’s flunkies fare far fancier,” the frazzled fugitive fumed feverishly, frankly facing fact. Frustrated from failure and filled with forebodings, he fled for his family. Falling at his father’s feet, he floundered forlornly. “Father, I have flunked and fruitlessly forfeited further family favors.” But the faithful father, forestalling further flinching, frantically flagged his flunkies to fetch forth the finest fatling and fix a feast.

But the fugitive’s fault-finding frater, faithfully farming his father’s fields for free, frowned at this fickle forgiveness of former folderol. His fury flashed, but fussing was futile.

His foresighted father figured, “Such filial fidelity is fine, but what forbids fervent festivities? The fugitive is found! Unfurl the flags! With fanfare flaring, let fun, frolic, and frivolity flow freely, former failures forgotten and folly forsaken. Forgiveness forms a firm foundation for future fortitude.”

OK, let me try . . .

This famous fable is fantastic. It forces the fastidious and feeble to face the fearful facts and fathom their fickle fidelity. Forlorn fundamentalism is for flat-footed fidgets and feather-weight flunkies. It may be fashionable, but it is a farce and a fraud, a flagrant fallacy! Finding fault with the Father’s family is no fun, but I feel forced to fix my finger on phonies and fuddy-duddies. So, flee fallacious faith. Finish with flaccid pharisaism. Find your fabulous future by frolicking in the Father’s fathomless favor.

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs.
It’s jolted by every pebble in the road.
—Henry Ward Beecher

point to ponder • A healthy sense of humor is part of the image of God in us!

prayer focus • Someone you know whose circumstances have “dried up their bones.”


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