Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wisdom vs. Foolishness

So on Wednesday I was blessed with two children who took a nap at the same time. Of course--especially after my bathroom-cleaning experience--I wanted to do something productive. I started to put away the dishes in my dishwasher. But something about that didn't sit right. What would God have me do? Memorize scripture? No--closer but still not quite right. What God wanted me to do, in the quiet house while my children slept, was to pray on my knees.

And so that's what I did.

And then he wanted me to work on memorizing some scripture.

And so I did. And I had heard that skills stick better if one takes a nap after--and I was falling asleep. And so I napped. And I woke up, and worked some more on memorizing scripture. And then the children woke up, and we took a walk, and I worked on reciting the scripture I memorized. (I guess I did it quite a bit, because this morning I started to recite it and Hannah said, "I don't like that song.")

Because while now I am eager to clean in worship of God, if that's not what God has for me right now, it isn't worshiping God. And doing His will is more important than a clean house. Even though I really want a clean house.

And doing God's will is wisdom. So perhaps from a worldly perspective, praying and memorizing scripture while my children slept was not a wise use of my time--but if what God gave me to do seems like foolishness, it is only because God's thoughts and ways are not ours.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. (I Corinthians 3:19a)

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (I Corinthians 1:20)

God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. (I Corinthians 1:27a)

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. (I Corinthians 1:18a)

Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. (I Corinthians 3:18)

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Worshiping God

A continuation of my series on cleaning the bathroom several days ago--anyone know how to change the dates?

On Sunday (7/18/2010) our congregation had the opportunity to hear an excellent sermon brought to us by Pastor Steve Coddington; our sermons are available for download here.

The sermon involved the fact that heaven was a really cool place and it will be awesome. But one of the quotations that struck me was that our lives should be arrows pointing to God (or something like that). We should be worshiping God all the time, in all we do. I knew that. But I hadn't applied it to cleaning. But that morning, my cleaning was worship of God. I scrubbed the toilet for God. I cleaned the dust and scum from the crevices of the window track to God. And God was glorified in that.

And further another thing occurred to me--in heaven we will be eternally engaged in worshiping God. Yes, that will involve singing and dancing and all that normal worship stuff. But I bet that won't be all of it.

I don't know if there will be a need to clean in heaven. Will plants need dirt and water to grow? Will our heavenly bodies need food, or is the feast metaphorical? Will our heavenly bodies leave oily secretions or lose hair? Not really sure. But if one takes the descriptions of heaven at all literally--and I tend to take the Bible literally when possible--there's a whole lot of clear stuff in heaven, and a whole lot of shiny stuff, and a whole lot of people. And here on Earth, at least, that would mean there's a whole lot of work to do. And if there's work--that will be part of our worship. Not just an unpleasant side effect of life or worship--but in heaven, it will all be worship.

And it can be now, too. So whatever task God sets before you today--even if you find it unpleasant--especially if you find it unpleasant--do it to God as an act of worship. Because isn't making clean that which is unclean the very work of God?

Part 1

Part 2

Labels: , , ,

Good Works that God Prepared in Advance for Us To Do

(a continuation of the series on cleaning my bathroom--yes, I'm writing a series on cleaning the bathroom)

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

So I've heard this verse before, but I had always heard/applied it in the context of charity, of doing things for others.

But as I cleaned my bathroom window, this is a verse that came to me.

The good works God has for us can be mundane household tasks, as well--like cleaning the bathroom window, or the toilet. And as I cleaned, I realized that the very process of entropy--the dirtying and breaking down of everything around us--is part of God's plan to prepare good works for us. That God, in his infinite wisdom and mercy and grace and goodness, while I had neglected my house, had been preparing good works for me... good works like toilets that needed cleaning. I saw that the little cup my toilet brush sits in was dirty... and I praised God for preparing that task for me. I was doing God's will. He had been giving me these good works, though I hadn't seen or recognized them as such. I had missed opportunities in the past to do His work in taking care of our house (which is, of course, His), but I could do it now.

I haven't managed to get back to that place since that morning, but maybe while I am waiting for Hannah to pick up so we can go for a walk, I can clean some windows.... Now at least I want to do these things instead of dreading them :)

(To Be Continued)

Part 1

Part 3

Labels: ,

The Center of God's Will

A couple times recently I have felt like I am in the center of God's Will. Which I think is pretty awesome.

The first time was when I was giving my husband a backrub a few days ago. And then again this morning when I was nursing my son. He fell asleep, and I went back to bed. But I couldn't sleep.

I began to feel that God wanted me to clean the bathroom. This is not a common thing for me (as you might deduce, had you ever seen my bathroom). Well, except for the occasional pregnancy-induced insomia/nesting combo. And I am not pregnant to my knowledge. So I cleaned the mirror. And I cleaned the window. And I cleaned the toilet. All very thoroughly--and I felt I was in the center of God's will. And it was so amazing that it'll take 2 or 3 more blog posts to detail all the insights I gained this morning while cleaning my bathroom.

And as I cleaned the toilet I could see many more things I could do stretching out before me, that I could do and be in the center of God's will: More cleaning. Picking up. Making lunch for my husband. Taking a shower. God is so good.

Then my baby woke up and started fussing, and I kept cleaning the sink even though I should have tended him first. Everything gets so much harder when the kids are up. I didn't want to leave a relatively simple job half-done (it worked out fine; he wasn't really crying and I was able to get dressed rather than getting him right away; but I didn't have that feeling of being in the center of God's Will). But I want to be in the center of His Will.

Part 2

Part 3

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

God is Good

I had been getting very frustrated. It seemed like Hannah wasn't listening and wasn't doing the right thing, and then she started un-potty training. I knew she could do it because she hadn't been having more than one accident a day since at least her birthday. But she stopped using the potty. So I got frustrated and I yelled at her a lot. And then before long I was yelling at my husband too, and complaining about how much I felt like he wasn't doing.

And then I realized (partly thanks to my husband) that I was doing the same thing. I had figured out the right thing to do--pray--but I'd stopped doing it. And then, no matter what happened, I kept doing more things wrong, even though I knew I shouldn't be doing those things. Sound familiar?

And I wasn't doing a very good job of showing Hannah that I love her. Truth be told, I wasn't doing a good job of loving her at all. I was trying....

And so we prayed together, the four of us. I thanked God for each of my family members--my wonderful husband, my wonderful daughter, my wonderful son. I asked God to forgive me for how I'd treated them. And I asked Him to help me love them as He does.

This week is going so much better. And the only thing that's changed is my attitude.

Prayer works.

Praise God.

Labels: , , , ,