Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Secular or Saintly

Well my original post scheduled for 6 am yesterday morning is somewhere is cyber space. What a humbling thing it is to start a blog! At least it is for me. It does seem to fit into the topic of this post, however, and maybe God had a hand in this...but then, for me there really is no 'maybe' here.

My post was about how we - I - often tend to separate activities and jobs into opposing categories of 'secular' and 'sacred'.  I don't deliberately do this, it just seems to happen like that. For example, in my sacred category I have, of course, church, the prayer ministry I'm a part of, daily time with God, scripture memorization - you know...all the 'churchy' things. Secular is basically everything else: work, socialization, laundry, grocery shopping,    and for you mothers out there, soccer games and ballet, PTA meetings, etc. We could all list endless numbers of things that we do every day that we would never consider sacred.

Here's the thing. I looked up the word sacred and the first definition listed there is this: consecrated to God.  Wow! That says nothing about being in church or having a bible verse attached to it, or doing 'churchy' things, or saying all the right-sounding religious words. It just says consecrated (set apart as holy, devoted to sacred or serious use). Isn't that what we're supposed to be every day as Christians? Look at the scripture memory verse for this week, 1 Corinthians 10:31: "Therefore, whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 

Here's how this applies to me right now. I have been very reluctant to get into any kind of social media thing - Face book - not there. Twitter - not here either. A blog - what's a blog and why am I the last person to know about this? If you're getting the idea that this is not where I live, you're on the right track. I'm learning, though, that when you pray and ask God to do God-sized things through you, you can always expect to be taken out of your comfort zone - that's where the God-sized things are. For me right now, a blog is definitely out of my comfort zone.

Would I tend to put blogging into my 'sacred' category? No, except here's what God is doing for me through this:

  • taking me out of my comfort zone so that I must rely on him
  • showing me that I need to work on my tolerance for frustration, and that I need to more quickly turn to him and pray when I am frustrated
  • reminding me that anything he leads me to do in the pursuit of his plan is sacred
  • reminding me to seek him first - to know him first
  • preparing me for what's ahead
Why are these things important? For many reasons, but one big one is this: anytime we seek to obey God, honor him, and allow him to have his way in our lives we can be sure that we will face a spiritual battle. It may be very subtle or it may hit us upside the head like a cast iron skillet. Either way, we need to be prepared. 

I don't deliberately separate my to-do list into "sacred or secular", it just tends to happen that way. What I am trying to do now is treat this like every other spiritual discipline - I need to be INTENTIONAL about seeing every aspect of my life as ordered and ordained by God. That quick trip to the grocery store for a few items left off my list wasn't just a fluke. That's where and when I engaged in a short conversation with a total stranger that just needed a listening ear and some encouragement. Could God have used someone else? Absolutely! Why did he choose me? Don't have a clue, except that I needed the blessing of being a blessing, and I also need the reminder that God is intimately involved in EVERY aspect of my life. That is comforting and awe-inspiring! No accidents with God.

Deuteronomy 12:18b says, "...and you are to rejoice before the Lord your God in everything you put your hand to." 

It is all his. We are all his, here to worship him and glorify him before the world in everything we do and say. Certainly puts a new twist on your daily agenda, doesn't it? 

Go out into your day today and every day excited that it all belongs to him, and that he has a plan. Look for it - look for him, and rejoice in your sacred day! 

Encourage others by sharing your experiences with us. How has God changed secular moments into sacred ones in your life?

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