Joel had his first fall ball game today. After the game, we came home and were busy getting supper, baths, and ready for bed. I still needed a "first." I remembered back a week or two ago that Joel and some of his buddies were doing something unique with their plastic drink cups and baseball bats. They would fit the cup on the barrel end of their baseball bats and bust them by slamming it against the ground. It makes a nice pop when you do that. Today, I busted a cup with a baseball bat for my "first."
I looked around the cabinets and found some plastic/paper cups. Joel and I went outside and I gave it my first try. I'm sorry to say that it did not go well. The cup did not pop. Joel examined the situation and said the cup was the wrong size. Ooops. So, I found a different size cup and it went pop. It does make a kind of cool sound. Of course, Joel wanted to do one as well. He had a different idea. He had two cups to put on the end of the bat to see if that would work. It worked well and made a louder pop. He was pretty excited about it. Then, he had other combinations that he wanted to try, but it was nearing bedtime and we still had to eat and get baths. So, we called it a night on the cup busting. We had fun doing this "first."
As we were busting cups with bats, it did occur to me that we were not accomplishing anything. We were just making noise. My heart was troubled at the thought that followers of Jesus may be doing that at times. Could it be at times that our singing, praying, teaching, and preaching are just noise? I know that it should be more than that and hopefully is more than that, but there is that possibility. The Bible says in Isaiah 1:14-15,"I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts,
They have become a burden to Me;I am weary of bearing them. So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen.
Your hands are covered with blood."
Jesus said in Matthew 15:8-9, "This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”
Those verses are really terrifying. The idea of me praying and God hiding His eyes from me is just horrible. That Jesus said some people worship Him but it is for nothing should cause us to stop and think. Are we simply making noise or are we worshipping God in spirit and truth like He desires? Is my heart seeking to love God and become like Him when I pray and worship? Am I planning to go out and live self-centered instead of God-centered while I am worshipping? Worshipping God is way more than simply saying religious words and singing religious songs. God is looking for people who will authentically love Him and surrender to Him where He can shape us to be more like His Son for His glory. My worship is supposed to lead to obedience. I'm not sure I'll ever watch a boy bust a cup with a bat without feeling some conviction ever again.
Seeking to live and not just pretend to live the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Baseball games
2. Worship leaders