Speed and the expectation of instant results have become so normal in our culture, we think nothing of it any more. In fact, we can often be found rushing ahead of even our own selves. Let me ask you a question. How many times today…just today…have you rushed to complete a task or a project only to have to wait, because the process couldn’t keep up with you? I thought about that as I stood impatiently next to my little home printer… WAITING for it to process the “print” command I had just given. Yes, I did burst out laughing.
Seriously though, there’s another whole dimension to this. When I hit the print key on my laptop while sitting in the living-room, there was no doubt in my mind that the document would print in the office. I only had to walk the few steps necessary in order to retrieve it. I was acting on a reality that was not yet actual. There’s a word for that and an illustration of it in Luke 17:11-16. The word is prolepses, and in that passage Jesus commanded ten men to act proleptically.
“On the way to Jerusalem, He was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.”
In response to their cries for mercy, Jesus told them to do something outlandish. He told them to go and present themselves to the priests in order to be declared clean (Leviticus 14:2-4)…even though they must certainly have still born witness to the raw soars on their bodies.
What would I have done in that circumstance, in that time, in that culture? What would you have done?
The ten lepers were healed as they went. What was that like? Did they notice any change before they got to the priests? Then, how did they react? What would I have done? What would you have done?
“Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.”
Dear readers, is anything happening in your spiritual life right now in which the Lord is asking you to act proleptically? Are you being asked to act on a reality that is not yet actual? Or…have you ever been the recipient of such a gift from God? If so were you the one who turned back, praising Him, and falling at His feet?
Lots to think about the next time you hit the “print” button on your computer.
God bless you,
P.S. I stood waiting at my printer numerous times while the book, “Traveling Through Menopause: What’s God Got To Do With It?” was in progress. Check it out on the Surviving Menopause tab of this website; or click the following links and order directly from amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com (click here for nook book).
(Thank you, Gary Hoag, generositymonk.com, for introducing me to the word prolepses in the context of this parable. See generositymonk.com/meditations, August 23, 2018.)
I'm a practicing spiritual director, author, speaker, and teacher with a sincere desire to share all that the Lord has taught me. It is my passion to help you create a “sacred space” of deeper intimacy with Jesus.
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