I came downstairs this morning, anticipating my get-together with God, and with random questions on my mind … How do I greet God in the morning? How do I say good night? And what happens in-between? Do I check-in during the day to see how His day is going, to tell Him what’s going on in mine?
Crazy transition, I know, but my thoughts traveled back to Sunday night when I flipped on the TV to check the track of yet another impending winter storm, and an episode of the drama “Brothers & Sisters” caught my attention. Paige has a school project caring for a 5 lb. bag of flour as if it were her baby. Named Joaquin, Paige needs Uncle Kevin to babysit her “flour child” – he takes his duty seriously until it’s time to hand off baby Joaquin to his grandma Sarah (Paige’s mom). Sarah has other things on her mind and leaves the baby at her own mother Nora’s house, which upsets Paige who is taking her parenting responsibilities very seriously. She cares deeply about her flour baby, following the rules of the assignment requiring her to get a babysitter for any stretch of time that she could not personally take Joaquin with her, but her mother completely dismissed and disregarded the relationship. Fast forward to the next day when Paige and Sarah go to pick up baby Joaquin, and we hear a bone-chilling scream from Paige when she discovers Nora’s visiting guest made breakfast muffins out of her flour baby.
Flour baby projects are not uncommon in Health or Life Skills classes for teens these days. The purpose of the week-long exercise is to teach young people what it’s like to have a baby, to create an awareness that parenting is a 24/7 responsibility, requiring your constant presence, and to help them understand the far-reaching impact a child has on your life. Now God doesn’t see us as flour babies, but as His masterpieces (Ephesians 2:10), He knows everything about us – even the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30), and He is with us always (Matthew 28:20), but are we aware of any of that in between Good Morning and Good Night?
I was reading an online recap this morning of what happened on the Biggest Loser last night called “Biggest Loser Parents Throw the Weigh-In to Protect Their Children” – sounds pretty dramatic, doesn’t it?
It was the announcement of an additional Red Line that would automatically eliminate the person with the lowest weight loss. The parents decided they needed to ensure it wasn’t the younger contestants, so that’s exactly what they did.
Irene gained a pound, Jesse three, but nobody could touch Deni. Declaring all of the players her kids, she said she would do anything to protect them and did just that with an eight-pound weight gain.
Such a dramatic silly little news story was easy to respond to – that this woman, Deni, would sacrifice her own opportunity on the show for continued weight loss because she would do anything to protect the younger contestants. Jesus Christ did everything to protect us, save us from the bondage and penalty of sin – he put his whole weight behind the sacrifice for you, for me. And still, if you’re like me, I take my daytime relationship with Jesus less seriously, less passionately than Paige looked after her fake flour baby.
I’m just saying …. what kind of Jesus Relationship Project could we create to carry around Jesus all day long, to be attentive to and responsible for our relationship with him, to observe the impact he’s had on our life – heck, of giving us life, a new life in Christ? Is there something we could carry with us as a constant reminder that He is Emmanuel, God with us, every moment of the day – not just the One we call on when we need Him to rescue us, to heal us, to help us make a decision? In times of uncertainty or indecision, the question to contemplate isn’t WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) – the question we oughta be asking is What DID Jesus do?
In my post Self-Control or a Matter of Pride, I talked about God bearing down on me to change my heart. When I got to work that day, someone had left a small chocolate heart on my desk for Valentine’s Day, and I’ve left it there on my desk calendar – each day flipping the page to a new day and replacing the chocolate heart like a weight on the new page. That little heart is there to catch me every time I start to roll my eyes, to remind me when I begin to think negatively about a co-worker, to stop me when the enemy tempts me to gossip … this little bit of sweetness brings the melody and words to mind Change My Heart, Oh God … and it works!
I’m thinking of all the names and references to Jesus in the New Testament and brainstorming ideas of what I can carry with me in the car, lay down on my desk, pack in my lunch, meet in my laundry room, encounter at my computer … Here’s some possibilities I’ve come up with so far:
Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:35) – maybe a knick-knack loaf of bread from the Dollar Store
Jesus is Deliverer (Romans 11:26) – a UPS or Federal Express overnight envelope
Jesus is Lamb of God (John 1:29) – a cute little ty stuffed lamb
Jesus is Light of the World (John 8:12) – a small flashlight
Jesus is Ruler of God’s Creation ( Rev. 3:14) – I like this one because I could buy a gross of small plastic rulers and leave one in the car, one on my desk, one in the kitchen, laundry room, bedroom, study.
Jesus is the Way (John 14:6) – a map or even a GPS
Help me out here – what ideas do you have for “Bringing Jesus to Work Day”? For “God in the Laundry Room”, for “Find Him on Facebook”, “God in Every Financial Transaction” …? How do you keep Him on your mind, in your heart, ruling your life from 9 to5 and beyond?