Do You remember your first Kiss? I do!

by | Feb 9, 2010

Thankfully, I did not give up and I finally found my princess!

Those of you following my blog will have noticed I have not been very active the last two weeks. That is because I am busy trying to finish a book that Debs and I started a few years ago. Just to wet your appetite, here is an excerpt from chapter 9 of my new international best seller. 🙂  

 

18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

Many people never forget their first kiss, I am one of them. I was in my mid-teens and had been dreaming of this moment and trying to achieve it for a number of years. The facts that I was the youngest of four sons and had been shipped off to an all boys boarding school at the age of 7 had given the opposite sex an aura of both mystery and excitement and, next to food (sorry ladies), girls were the number one topic of conversation in our hormone rich environment. Guys endlessly competed with tales of romantic conquests and triumphs and at the beginning of each new term there was the traditional gathering where boys would swap stories of their successes and failures with the opposite sex. The stories recounted ranged from the farcical, to the fantastic. Many were dangerously close to slander of innocent girls reputations. At these gatherings the more experienced and older boys would share from the wealth of their wisdom on a range of related subjects, some of which cannot be repeated here, but one of the regular topics was what it was like to “score”. I was a regular attendee of these study groups. I was a voracious reader and avid student of the audio-visual aids that Hollywood produces specifically for this age group.  Many of the songs I listened to on the radio threw light on how it was done. I had a thorough theoretical education and knowledge of the subject matter. None of it was any help nor did it in any way prepare me for my first kiss. It happened at a party in Bulawayo when I was on a weekend pass ostensibly staying with the parents of a friend of mine, in reality a group of us were staying unsupervised with a friend whose parents were away. When we arrived at the party we were all feeling relaxed and confident, due mainly to the fact we had shared a half jack of vodka before leaving and walked onto the dance floor with that radar that boys at boarding school develop fully on and deployed. We were looking for available girls. Almost immediately I saw her, a beautiful girl on the other side of the dance floor. Her long dark tresses contrasted sharply with clear blue eyes. She was wearing a tank top and skin-tight jeans which made little attempt to disguise the lithe dancers body she was already developing. I had seen her before and had already made several unsuccessful sorties in her direction. My luck seemed to in tonight though, she had just arrived, and had not yet been asked to dance, she stood alone, flanked only by one of her girlfriends. My mouth dry, I determinedly strode across the dance floor trying to look nonchalant and cool. I mentally rehearsed my proposal to sweep her onto the dance floor. Our eyes met, she smiled, I grew encouraged and I opened my mouth to ask her to dance and as I did so my best friend who was beside me asked her first! With one last pitying look at me she giggled and disappeared into the loud music and strobe lights of the dance floor. I was left stranded with her friend. Her friend was very different. With wild orange hair, freckles, facial hair and a dire case of acne she was not a girl you could be seen dancing with at the school I attended if you did not want to have both your manhood and your sanity questioned. She was dressed in a large frumpy dress which valiantly but unsuccessfully attempted to disguise that she spent much more time digesting than dancing. I wanted to run! However I was in a quandary, the experts had told me the best way to spoil your chances with a girl was to be mean to her friends and I was still harbouring a forlorn hope that my friend would crash and burn leaving me another chance later in the evening. I decided to have one dance with the girl in front of me. She gratefully accepted but I soon found that some things are easier to get yourself into than out of. She became the Velcro girl and stuck with me the whole night. As the party wore on it became clear that my friend was flying high and that my partner had every intention of scoring too. I was terrified and resorted to drinking. I had heard it said that beauty is in the eye of the beer holder and so had too many of those. It did not improve the situation. Try as I might I could not shake the determined attentions of my pursuer. Finally it was time to go home. I fled to the car as fast as my inebriated legs could carry me gratefully climbing into the last available spot in the car. Just then she arrived and asked the driver for a lift and climbed onto my lap. I was finally trapped! As the car pulled off I passed out from a combination of vodka, beer, fear and exhaustion. I awoke gagging. Whether she was kissing me or was attempting to give me CPR we never had the chance to discuss. The lower half of my face was covered in saliva as she moved her head rapidly from side to side making an odd high-pitched moan as if she was attempting to drill a hole through my throat with her tongue. It was ghastly. I will never forget my first kiss.

            There are many things that can be said of this experience some of which I want to look at, others I feel it is important to refute. There will no doubt be some who will be offended by my telling this story thinking I am in some way promoting teenage alcohol abuse, I would beg to differ. From where I sit the story is a very compelling cautionary tale against alcohol abuse. I heartily advise against both my teen-aged morality and values. Thankfully I met God a few years later.

            What I do want to point out is that theory and experience are not the same things at all. Many in the church live their whole lives with an intellectual appreciation of the intimacy that they are created for in Christ. They have heard sermons, sung songs, read books, attended study groups and classes, heard testimonies and spoken about intimacy but are still as far from a real experience with intimacy as they ever were. The reason is that they have learned to replace good principles for the presence of Jesus. They have fallen into the same religious mindset that beset the Pharisees in the time of Christ. Jesus tried to point out the difference between intellectual knowledge and a living relationship when he confronted them one day. He said

            You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (Jn5:39)

An increase of knowledge that does not lead us into a personal encounter with God only makes us more religious. Religion is knowledge of God without relationship with God; it is the great enemy of mankind. In Eden Satan did not tempt man to choose between the tree of good and the tree of evil, the choice man was faced with was between the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was by nature a religious tree. It offered wisdom, it looked good and it satisfied an appetite in man. However the poison in the fruit was that it was offering knowledge without experience of God. Satan’s great lie was that by eating that fruit man could by his knowledge become like God.  It is not our knowledge that gives us the life that we were created for, it is by connecting our lives to Jesus who is the tree of life and allowing his words, his life and his presence to fill us and remain in us (John 15) throughout the narrative of the Bible and throughout all of human history the nature of religion has never changed. In Eden we have seen Adam’s choices, in the gospels the Pharisees are blinded by the same deception as they pour over the Scriptures thinking that this will give them life even as Jesus, God himself, stands before them longing to give them what they are searching for. In the book of the Revelation Jesus sends word to the church in Laodicea, a church whose self appraisal was vastly different to God’s. They believed they were rich and without need and yet Jesus proclaims them to be “wretched, pitiful, poor blind and naked”. He likens them to the lukewarm water that supplied their city via an aqueduct which transported it from hot springs 5 miles away. By the time the water arrived in the city it was no longer hot enough to be used as water in a healing spa, and it was not cold like the waters of a nearby city whose water came from the melting snows of the mountains. They brought neither healing nor refreshing to their city. The reason for this sad state can be seen in the succeeding verses where Jesus says;

Here I am I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.

I have often heard this scripture addressed to the unsaved as if it were an invitation from the Lord to those who do not know him yet. We have said that this is Jesus knocking on the door of our hearts asking to come in. What we seem to have deliberately ignored is that this letter was not addressed to the unsaved but to the pastor and the people of the church in Laodicea. Jesus is knocking at the door of his own church asking to be allowed in, and it appears that no-one can hear him knocking. Like many churches they could no longer tell the difference between doing things for God, in God’s name and being with God. Thus they had not even noticed that church was continuing but Jesus was outside, knocking, promising if anyone hears my voice I will come in…

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