Gayle Crowe has been a part of KNLS, in some capacity, since its beginning. In recent years he has been Vice President of Programming, coordinating the work of all our languages (English, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, English with an African sound, Spanish, and Portuguese). He grew up at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and now lives not far from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. He and his wife have two children and two granddaughters.
“What is it you really want in life?” That question came up the other day. Almost immediately, one of the men in the room spoke up very distinctly, “Acceptance. To be accepted is what I really want in life.” I knew, of course, why he said that: he has been an alcoholic for years, and now that he’s leaving that lifestyle behind he’s aware that it’s tough to be accepted by many of the people whose acceptance he values. Other people answered with other words, but most of the other answers were just variations on the theme of “acceptance.”
My mind wandered to two days before. I flew out to the East Coast of the U.S., near Washington, D.C., where I was visiting my son and his family—which includes their two year old daughter. The second day I was there we decided to go someplace, so I went downstairs to get my coat. As I started back up, I looked at the top of the stairs and there was my granddaughter, sitting on the top step, just waiting for me. I hadn’t seen her for months, and when I walked in the door from the airport I was obviously a complete stranger to her. But in those 24 hours we had bonded, so there she was at the top of the stairs just waiting for me to come up. Her message, without saying a word: I had been accepted.
On the plane on the way home I started thinking how many figures in the Bible circle around the theme, “You’ve been accepted”! The Old Testament says that the Hebrews, the Jews, were God’s chosen people. The Hebrew word translated “to be chosen” means that one is accepted into God’s service as a chosen instrument. The person isn’t worthy, he probably doesn’t have any special qualifications, he may not even do that great a job at what he’s been chosen to do. But in God’s eyes he’s been accepted, he is considered valued, and hence he’s a special person to God. The same idea is picked up over in the New Testament in these words to some early Christians, “You are a chosen people, . . . a people belonging to God” (I Peter 2:9).
Wow – that’s heavy, isn’t it? It says that human beings are accepted by God—chosen by God. In fact, God is so heavily invested in people that he went to extraordinary lengths to draw us to himself. Have you heard the story? It’s a tremendous story. Well, so tremendous that it’s been the cornerstone of the Christian faith for the past 20 centuries. If you haven’t heard the story, write us here at KNLS. All you have to say is, “Please tell me how God accepts people.” We’ll know what you’re talking about and will take it from there.