We have a dinner table that seats six. Our family has seven people in it. Ethan, our youngest, sits in a chair (of a different set of chairs) with his booster seat and tray strapped to it. He does not like sitting in it, and he LOVES that for snack times he gets to sit at “the big table.”
Today for lunch, we were not having messy foods (although boys seem to know how to make any food a messy food!), so I told him he could sit in the big chairs at the big table. His eyes lit up, and he climbed into my chair at the table. He sat so still, waiting for his foods, even trying to pull his sleeves up for me. I reminded him to sit still, or he would have to go back in his little chair.
I have never seen this kid sit so well before! He stayed in his chair, kept all the foods on the table and got nothing on his shirt. He ate better than all of the big kids! He just knew he had to do his best or he wouldn’t be allowed to sit like a big kid again for lunch.
The bigger kids all knew they will sit at the big table regardless of how well they sit or how neatly they eat, so they ate like hooligans. I mean, what am I gonna do – strap them into the baby seat?? 🙂 I laughed, to myself, about how different the attitudes towards sitting at the table were. And then I yelled at the big kids for eating like that because they know better.
It got me thinking about Christianity and life. How a lot of times we Christians know that God isn’t going to take our privilege (of sitting at His table) away, and we get lazy about how well we act toward Him and His Word and the life He has asked us to live. We know He isn’t going to take salvation away; we’re in. And then we kinda quit on Him. We got what we wanted and that’s that.
If only we could all act toward God like Ethan did for lunch. Behave to the best of our ability. Follow all the “rules”. Show our Father how much we appreciate the privilege of His presence. Of His free gift of eternal life. Not just take the gift and then go back to acting like hooligans.
I completely understand why the world does not see Christians in a positive light most of the time. Because we act no different. Yes, we have a wonderful gift of salvation and the most amazing privilege to know God. But we act no different in our day-to-day. We rush through Bible study, just to check it off the list. We go to church because it is habit. We volunteer to help at church but only because we feel obligated…not because we find joy in serving. (please know when I say “we”, I am speaking of myself…because I know exactly how I am). We do our household “duties” because…well, because it is our job and no one else is going to do it. We aren’t doing it “unto the Lord” at all. For me, the days are hurried and chaotic and LOUD. I get caught up in the appointments and the To Do’s, and I forget that God has placed me where I am to do all that I have to do FOR HIM. Not just to get through the day, but to shine as a light for Jesus in whatever task I am doing – housework, homeschool, volunteer at church, sitting in the church service, typing on Facebook, changing a diaper or even cleaning up puke. It is supposed to be all for Him. But, I let it overwhelm me and ask “is there anything here for ME? Why don’t I ever have something for me?” And then my light for Him gets a little dimmer. Pretty soon no one can see my light, and I can’t see my privilege anymore. All I see is work. Hard work. I have to refocus and choose to see the real reason I am here. Not for me. It’s for Him. It’s all for Him.
Today’s lunch experience, though funny at first, is a great reminder to go back to the excitement of when we first learned about Jesus. Go back to when we had that strong desire to please Him and to serve Him and do everything as “unto the Lord and not unto men.”(Colossians 3:23) Choose to serve and love others for God. To shine a light for Jesus. Be Jesus to others.
We have the great privilege of knowing the Great God. Let’s live like it.