Ditching the PlayBook

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Last night, as I was driving home I was pondering some things with God. I looked over to a billboard – one of those that is digital and changes constantly – and I saw the word PlayBook. Having no idea that Blackberry is launching the next iPad and calling it a Playbook, the word had no connotations but still stood out to me. I asked the Lord the most obvious question…”What’s in Your playbook, Lord? What are your strategies for the coming months that involve me?” 

Googling the word a little bit made things more interesting. First off I learned about Blackberry’s new launch. Cool. I’m most familiar with the word from basketball or football where each of the plays is outlined and is used on the game floor or in the locker room as a refresher. Now, what I find to be the most interesting definition is that the first definition is most often like the Oxford English Dictionary’s:

playbook, n.

A book containing the text of a play or plays.

I have two deadlines coming up, one is a piece for my Writing Lives class. The other is a documentary, part of which will be written next week during a speed-writing competition for screenplays.

So, I find it interesting that a random sign leads me to ask the Lord what is on His heart, and both the billboard sign and it’s deeper definition point me neatly toward my writing project at hand. But let’s look a little deeper…a playbook contains the text of a play or in some cases strategies for winning the game. I’m definitely a person that likes to know what comes next. I think I’ve worn the Lord out asking Him that question. So, how is this going to go? Got a plan here, Stan? Ya don’t need to be coy, Roy. You just listen to me. …Okay, okay. Enough of the Simon & Garfunkel quotes.

After asking the Lord so many times for a plan I think that I’ve finally satisfied myself by being near Him, by resting the whole of my life on His heart. Sometimes He tells me the secrets of His heart … who in my world needs a hug, or a financial gift or needs help with a chore. And sometimes, like a good parent, He lets me figure it out on my own. Even better, we learn to become content with the process. I still chafe. I want a plan, and I want to know when and how this is all going to work. I like cards on the table, thank you very much. I don’t want to risk and I don’t want to get hurt. But sometimes Father hides the playbook, and we have to write the script as we go.

I guess that’s another reason the sign made me smile. Father loves to play hide-n-seek, and I felt like He was indulging Himself in a bit of a game with me. Good-hearted and loving, never a bully –that’s just not His nature — He gave me the mult-faceted word just to make me smile. He’s like that, you know.


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I’m sitting in Lauritzen Gardens Botanical Library looking out at the early Fall affect on the Butterfly Bushes, and fading flora. A few stout butterflies hover over the remaining purple blooms. I’m reminded of Genesis 1:2 that says, “…the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” I’ve heard it described that the Spirit of God was brooding over the waters.

The Lord gave me a picture of Himself brooding over the creative seeds and plantings He’s placed inside of us, until He sees them germinate and bear fruit.

There are words inside of us that only we can say. Yet those words when, in their due season, finally connect with pen and paper, they carry with them the very DNA of the Kingdom of God. They carry creative life. They are weighty words that pierce hearts. Phrases are turned and tuned in such a way that they become the anthem from a distant country. It’s not even the words themselves but the anointing of our very lives – the price that we’ve paid in hidden places, having submitted to transformation into the likeness of God. They are God-words with a mission known only to Him and, like heat-seeking missiles they pierce the hearts of the desperate ones, those who are parched for a drop of living water.

And so we invite you, Holy Spirit, to reach into the crevices of our lives and find something that would please you. Help yourself to whatever you find, and make it Your own – a scrap of something that you can transform. Breathe on the heartbroken; truly see the forgotten one, and embrace your distant son or daughter.

In like fashion we brood over those You’ve placed on our hearts, the artists, actors, vocalists, writers, and producers – lives laden with creative seeds, beautiful plantings designed to glorify You. Sift their hearts. Play through us the song of the Kingdom as we touch their lives. Bring Your lost ones home.