Lord. Have. Mercy.
Inhale annnnd exhale. Dirty dishes on every counter. Spilled tea on un-swept floors. A battlefield of empty food containers lifeless atop my formerly peace-loving island.
A paradoxical dance of familiar and foreign. Increasingly familiar in this house full of menfolk living on Teen-Time, but foreign to their mother living on ‘Aint-Nobody-Got-Time-For-This-Time. Many a night finds these young men of mine, hanging out downstairs as the moon rises high in the sky. It’s rumored that the Mandatory-Late-Nights clause in the unspoken Teen Pact is one that no teen dares admit to violating. I’ve learned to choose my battles, and this is not one that I’ve chosen. Yet.
As my this-morning unceremoniously collides with their last-night, I strongly consider shuffling my slippers back upstairs and playing the Monday card. You know…the one that grants fairylike permission to put your fingers in your ears and sing “lalala.” The one that would allow me a crumb of temporary peace about ignoring the unglorified mess that met my day.
Never mind that it’s Thursday.
What is Monday doing traipsing around in my Thursday anyway? How rude.
Before I can react, Sunday arrives, all Spirit-clothed and elegant, and interrupts Monday interrupting my Thursday.
Wisdom graces her as I’m reminded that these dishes, these floors, these countless messes that I clean, and re-clean—they are worthy sacrifices. Acts of worship shrouded in the menial and mundane.
Conflicted, my inner Ms. Self-Righteous tugs at my mind’s hemline…hey, psst, let’s not overlook the elephant in the room – these kids know better! Yes, noted…more accountability training needed. Thankfully, this day, my heart leans in to a shift in perspective, remembering that it is slave to the Spirit, not the flesh.
And so I sit in the middle of an honest-to-goodness Thursday, heart full of unexpected gratitude for these gifts of chaos. Gifts that disguise themselves as cluttered counters and un-swept floors.
A humble kitchen turned holy ground, as the Lord met me there this recent morning. You see, I was reading along in Malachi, minding my own business, when—kabam!—a stone crashed through the roof of my shiny glass house. As the ever-unfolding saga of Israel continued, God warned His people that they’d shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on His altar.
And there it was—my all Monday’d-up Thursday—a humbling modern-day equivalent of their reply: “…how have we defiled the sacrifices?” (1:7)
Humankind has an age-old penchant for ignorance. They didn’t recognize their disgrace in 400 BC—and neither do I sometimes in 2015. God replies: “You defile them by saying the altar of the Lord deserves no respect. How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered!” (1:7,10 NLT)
Counters and floors, laundry and bills—how many times have I disrespected the altar, defiling the sacrifice with an undignified heart? How often do I get my disgruntled, entitled self all up in the mix and effectively shut the Temple doors?
I’m so prone to dwelling on the ever-pressing immediate that, all too often, I discount the offering.
And isn’t it just so easy to miss the altar of the Lord for the altar of the moment?
When a messy Thursday morning unexpectedly finds itself rubbing elbows with grace, it has a way of highlighting how wildly God honors a servant heart. He sees the mundane tasks of ordinary Thursdays and weary Mondays and all the days in between—and beholds them as sacrifices worthy.
How I want to swing wide those Temple doors and run to the altar with arms full. Full of the quiet, the unnoticed, the uncharmed worthy sacrifices of ordinary days.
Sweet sister, the Lord sees your humble acts of worship, all wrapped up in the crumpled makeshift giftwrap and raveled ribbon of a living sacrifice, and—He calls it holy.
May we seek His face—the Servant of servants—trading our anxious hearts for the grace and guidance to serve from a spirit of worship, not of burden.
Locking arms, let’s storm the Temple doors, hearts and hands overflowing with sacrifices of thanksgiving to the One who called us into the beauty of the mundane.
~ Happily linking up this week with: Mondays @ Soul Survival, Intentional Tuesday, #RaRa Linkup, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory, Titus 2sday, Coffee for Your Heart, Women with Intention Wednesdays, Thought Provoking Thursday , beloved brews , #DanceWithJesus, Faith Filled Friday , The Weekend Brew and Words with Winter ~ Please drop in and bless these lovely writers sometime, I’m sure you’ll leave encouraged. ~