Chuck Terrill: Marco Polo
Our son Ben, his wife Holly, and our granddaughter Madeline live in Wichita, Kan. Theirs is a funny and unusual neighborhood.
One of the things I find delightful is that they have a neighbor who has a dog that is really good at getting out of his fenced backyard. So, the neighbors are frequently walking around their block calling for their dog.
Did I mention they are Mexican-Americans? Nice folks. Good neighbors. But, they made a mistake in naming their dog. They named him “Marco.”
We were there when it happened. The neighbors were looking for their dog. They called, long drawn out, two syllables, “Marrrr-co!” Our 7-year-old granddaughter shouted back, “Pollll-ow!”
“I learned that game at the swimming pool,” she said.
If you don’t know, Marco Polo was an explorer, and so is that wayward dog. Other kids must play the Marco Polo game too, because as the neighbors walked around the block, we heard them calling “Marrrr-co!” and other children’s voices shouting back “Pollll-ow!”
It was funny to me, but you know I’m a little bit weird. Consider the poor dog. He knows his master’s voice, and he knows his name is “Marco.” He runs toward “Marco.” Then, he turns and runs toward “Polo.” The poor dog is torn and confused. If he goes with “Marco,” he’s going to be leashed, scolded, and returned to his back yard. Heading toward “Polo” might seem much more attractive to him. The dog knows what he should do. But deep down, he wants to explore some more.
So it is with each of us. We hear God calling us. But, the World’s voice is pretty loud, too. We know what is best for us. But somehow, we run hard toward “Polo.” We want to explore the things that our Master wants to protect us from. The fence is there to protect us from evil that wants to get in, and the fence is there to prevent us from going where evil lives.
The world calls. But God knows and calls us by name. We should be obedient only to His voice.
"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14)
Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 471-847-2460.