“Mother, May I?” is a game commonly viewed as a children’s action game that can be modified for teenagers and adults. The goal of the game is for a player to be the first person to reach the person who has the role of “Mother.” The goal is achieved by asking for and being granted permission to make movements toward “Mother,” and taking the permitted steps. Let us review the process of achieving the goal: “The goal is achieved by asking for and being granted permission to make movements toward ‘Mother,’ and taking the permitted steps.” Permission means little without action on the part of the one granted permission.
“Mother” can be viewed as our best selves. Each day we take steps toward becoming who God created us to be or steps away from becoming that person. Staying stuck is moving backward. Sometimes our progress is hindered or halted because we confuse, “Could I?” with “May I?” “Could I?” is about ability and resources. “May I?” is about permission. In the times when we confuse the two and mistake “May I?” for “Could I?” self-doubt can cripple us. The issue in those seasons of confusion, however, is not a lack of ability or resources to take the steps that move us closer to becoming the person God created us to be. He is committed to transforming us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-30) and is working in us, giving us the desire and ability to do what pleases Him (Philippians 2:13). We have His permission and His enabling. Sometimes, the obstacle to our progress is that we have given someone or a group of “some ones” the authority to control our lives and dictate our steps. At other times, the missing item is our surrender to God. Our moment by moment, full surrender to God is the ultimate way of giving ourselves permission to become who He created us to be.