God’s got an amazing sense of humor -- the kind of high level, “this is only funny if you put pieces together that you’d never have thought would have had anything to do with one another but upon retrospect you realize constitute a huge shaggy dog story that the angels have been giggling for weeks anticipating the punchline for” sort of joke. One of those jokes involves enough personal things with different people that I can’t go into many details, other than to say that an investment of time over here on the left plus a completely unrelated investment in relationship months ago ended up coming together in someone over here on the far right having their needs being met in amazingly unexpected ways... that ended up making a crucially important spiritual point to someone who had been sitting over in a completely different corner of the room, who hadn’t been involved in any of the other stuff at all.
Shaggy. Dog. Story.
As a pastor, you just can’t see that sort of thing without being impressed by the sovereignty of God... as well as His sense of ironic timing with the things He does. It was especially poignant since something of an unintentional theme (from my end) for today’s teaching in Sunday School and the sermon was that we really need to spend more time listening to and being moved by the leading of the God who created all of this.
Case in point: in our Congregational Meeting, we voted in Kelvin as our new Deacon of Buildings and Grounds -- not because he has a particular aptitude for carpentry or groundskeeping, but because he has such a warm, loving, faithful, servant’s heart that is filled with God’s Spirit (you know, like the Bible tells us to look for in our prospective Deacons). Anyway, someone innocently locked one of the inner doors of the church building, unaware that we don’t actually have a key for that door. Some of us were a little concerned that we’d have to call a locksmith, while others (i.e.; my children) tried to pick the lock. Kelvin ended up calling Wendy (who was sick at home), who remembered a cache of keys in her office, which contained a key for a completely different door, which Alex noticed had the same kind of lock, so Kelvin used it and successfully unlocked the door. A true community effort.
But that’s a perfect application of we talked about in the message today. A large part of the reason why we’re even here as a church to begin with is to worship God -- which is less about rituals of prayer and song and sacrifice, and more about the conscious decision to ascribe worth to God in everything that we do, to remind ourselves that honoring God should be the first, best, and most crucial priority in our lives not only in a Sunday morning service, but also in how we do the seemingly mundane things of life.
Figuring out how to unlock a locked door sounds like just about the most mundane-seeming thing in the world. But praying about it, trusting God to provide the answer, and then giving Him glory for its success is exactly the sort of conscious act of worship that we’re talking about. It may not seem as grand or majestic as a cantata, but if it points to how much we trust and honor God -- that we think God is worth more than our plans or fears or stressors -- then it’s worship.
How can you put trusting God above your own stress, or bitterness, or fear, or comfort, or << fill in this blank >> today?