Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Worshiping Doilies

I sometimes qualm at sharing personal things on my blog. Things that cause readers to roll their eyes or worse yet...quit reading my blog. Things of a spiritual nature, things I learn while spending time with the Lord. But I can't do that. (qualm) I can't hide who I am. I can't NOT speak about the Lord. So...with that in mind...I want to share with you something I thought about this morning.

I began reading Jeremiah today. I am trying to read more the Old Testament in my devotions. Most of my life I have stuck with the New Testament but know very little about the Old Testament besides the stories I grew up listening to in Sunday School. So, I chose Jeremiah this morning. Before I began to read, I prayed a simple prayer. It went something like this... "Lord, please teach me something today. Show me something in Your Word. Mold me. Shape me. Make me into the woman You want me to be. I am here to learn from You." Little did I realize how such a simple, little prayer would be answered. God DOES answer prayer.

Here is the first verse that stuck out to me.

Jeremiah 1:16

"I will pronounce my judgements on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me,
in burning incense to other gods
and in worshiping what their hands have made."

"Worshiping what their hands have made"! I used to think that this meant something along the lines of a golden calf statue as seen in Deuteronomy 9. I don't have any statues of cows in my house, let alone any gold ones. And if I did, I certainly wouldn't bow down before them. I mean, what can a statue do, right?

What shallowness. My mind immediately went to that shallow interpretation and I failed to see the deeper meaning behind it. Then I asked myself a question. I am a designer. I make things with my hands so the question I asked myself is only logical. "Do I worship what my hands have made?"

In order to anser this, I must look to God's Word and find out what worship is. I didn't have to look far.

Romans 12:1

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship."

A spiritual act of worship. Offering my living, breathing body as a sacrifice is my spiritual act of worhsip. What I do with my physical body reflects who (or what) I am spiritually worshiping. WHOA! Wake up call to Anna. Something struck a nerve.

How many mornings have I woken up late, skipped my quiet time with Jesus, hurried through breakfast and the rest of the morning routine only to spend the rest of my day crocheting? Or knitting? Or sewing? Or updating my website? Instead of having devotions with my Lord, I devote myself to my hobbies, my business - the work of my hands. This devotion to my handiwork becomes my spiritual act of worship. I offer my body as a living sacrifice to the work of my hands, exactly what the Israelites did in Jeremiah 1. (where they were about to be sent into exile by the Lord because of it. Read the first chapter of Jeremiah and you will see)

I don't hang my freshly made doily or baby dress on the wall and bow down before it (how silly would that look) but I do have an idol. I have a god. I have placed this god before my God. Do you realize the implications of this? I have broken the very first of God's 10 commandments. (Thou shalt have no gods before me) Having handwritten half of Deuteronomy already, I see just how big of an issue this is for God. He repeats it numerous times throughout each chapter. As I was writing it, I thought that those Israelites must have been thick-headed. To have needed it repeated that many times and still have done the very thing God told them not to do.

All I can do now is humbly bow before the Lord and ask His forgiveness. I am thick-headed too. "Oh God! Please forgive me. Forgive me for placing things in my life ahead of You. Forgive me for my pride. Forgive me for my sin."

But there is hope. Looking back to Romans 12:1, I see that I can offer my body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing, to the Lord. I can turn this around to exactly the opposite. I can take what my physical body does (the crocheting, knitting, sewing, updating the website and whatever else I do) and offer it to God as my living sacrifice. This is my prayer. That I will be so entirely devoted to God that what I enjoy doing, my hobbies - the work of my hands, becomes my spiritual act of worship to Him. May it ever be so.


Christine said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful insights, Anna. I had never thought about the passage from Jeremiah in that light,but it really makes a lot of sense. I love how you say to make everything we do a living sacrifice, as it says in Scripture. Just starting our day consecrating everything we do to the Savior, is a feasible way for us mothers to do that. Blessings, dear sister in Christ.

Lady_MSnow said...

Anna, thank you so much for sharing this with us. It is a privilege to see what the Lord is doing trough you. Thank you for being open and honest.

B said...

Thanks for sharing and opening up. I guarantee that I am not rolling my eyes right now and it only makes me want to keep coming back more than I already do! =)

Anyway, those are interesting words. I think I needed to read them to. So thank you for sharing. And ((hugs))

Amy said...

No eye rolling from this quarter either. I also have recognized the disproportionate amount of time I can spend working or playing at my jobs and hobbies.

Thanks for your willingness to share the tough stuff along with the fun.

Adrienne said...

wow. I just stumbled upon your blog. I too put much before prayer and time with God...thank you for a reminder of what is important.