“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain.” (Mark 7:6-7, NIV2)
It had been a rainy, wind-filled kind of day, with the natural elements definitely being on the loose. Driving carefully up a hill with his girlfriend in the passenger seat, my oldest son’s adrenaline suddenly had reason to spike as the car hydroplaned, spinning out of control, and slamming into a guardrail on the other side of the road.
In such moments only one thought comes to mind: “Lord protect Jen!” In a split second a life can be completely altered, if not destroyed. In such moments we realize what truly matter. It’s not the shiny beautiful car that will come to mind (Especially not a tiny Echo!), and it’s not even the promotion at work. These do really not matter in the total scheme of things.
Needless to say, the car was far from attractive. The front end was completely smashed on the driver’s side, and the front light seemed to have bounced loose. Meanwhile the front fender decided it needed to scrape the tire from time to time, and the driver’s door wouldn’t open more than about 5 cm. The back of the vehicle was only a tiny bit better, and there was my son with a car that had a terrible headache, an eye springing out of its socket, dragging on its wheels. But somehow, it was still driveable!
After the initial adrenaline evaporated, worry replaced it: “What would my parents think? How much will it cost to repair this? Will it raise my insurance premiums?” In just a few moments, dread replaced worry, and it was with trepidation that he placed the call on his cell phone.
It was all over in a brief moment, and as he hung up his cell phone, he looked over at his girlfriend.
“Well, what did your dad say?”
My son couldn’t speak for a moment, then he repeated what I had told him: “He said…I am glad God kept you both safe!”
What’s more important anyway?
Reflecting on this incident, I started to wonder what is most important to God, and here again, the word “love” springs clearly up:
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Matthew 22:37, 39 NIV2)
Our God is a God of love. What matters the most to Him is extreme, genuine love!
I wonder how He views us during the worship service at church when our minds constantly take a trip to far-away places, revisiting events that happened during the week, reviewing the to-do lists, problem-solving some issue from work…Are our hearts fully focused on Him? Do we let pure love reign in our hearts? Or have we slipped up somewhere and bounced against a rail guard?
Don’t fear, we are not the only ones who have hydroplaning thoughts. Even pastors, who are human as well, sometimes experience this problem!
Have you ever truly experienced God at church? Have you ever felt His presence filling the entire congregation? In such times your heart is filled with adoration and you can’t wait to anticipate what will happen next. You hunger for more of Him, and you wish deeply that this moment could last for a long time, if not for ever. And then the moment is broken when the preacher stands up and decides we need to follow the schedule, otherwise the service will not end on time. Better not be late to KFC ! It’s so sad! We pray for revival, but when God shows up we tend to hydroplane as well!
Love can be part of our worship as well, in fact worship is but a futility without love!
It is time that we “wake up from your slumber” (Romans 13:11, NIV2) and realize what truly matters in life. Possessions will all fade away. Promotions will be eventually forgotten. To-do lists will never end, no matter how hard we work on them. But love is for eternity! What will we do to bring it fully back into our lives before we hydroplane to nothingness?
Our car certainly does stand out now. We will never be confused as to which vehicle is ours!