Early yesterday, my office was a Chick Fil A.
Not a bad place to work, especially if you can sip a Frosted Lemonade while working...
However, as I put this blog to bed, I "officed" out of a nearby Barnes and Noble.
There's something sacred about libraries and book stores.
I don't know what it is, but as I enter, it feels as if I'm stepping onto hallowed ground.
There's a sense I should take my shoes off, but I highly doubt the managers would appreciate it.
Perhaps this sense of consecration has to do with all the brilliant minds represented under one roof.
Maybe it's the totality of combined hours of sacrifice by authors who've passionately poured out their hearts onto the written page...and a prayer that some of it will rub off on me...
AND...I do wish I could help you appreciate the fresh aroma of this bookstore air...
There's nothing at all like opening a new book, nestling your nose deep into the spine of a crisp fresh page, and taking a deep sniff...
That, right there, provides uncanny inspiration!
However, I highly doubt you've logged in to read about bookstore air...
Hopefully, you are curious about where this week's thought will take us.
I'm in pursuit of the Almighty...
+ longing to meet Him in a deeper, more meaningful way...
+ to be surprised by Him as He collides with the ordinary in my every day world.
I've taken note that this pursuit can't even begin until I look deep inside,
pull back thick layers of mask-wearing,
and, look at myself closely through the mirror of the Lord's Commandments.
I can't hide from Him, anyway, He knows all...
But, for many years I've glossed over the truth of what's deep inside, thinking, "I can't be all that bad..."
...until I began reading, researching, reflecting on the first five of the commandments.
At this moment, I should be in a puddled heap on the floor of this bookstore.
I definitely deserve a death sentence.
Commandment 1. No other gods.
My answer should be God-alone...
...but, it isn't.
I'm guilty of looking elsewhere...all the time saying He is my One and Only with my mouth.
I almost always digress from God-Almighty when I hear myself saying the words "If only...." and following them with something other than Jesus...
Commandment 2. Don't take His name in vain.
I don't salt and pepper my sentences with declarations of "oh, my G___!"
But, here's what this commandment really means -
It's not just about speaking God's name casually, lowering His estimation in other's eyes; it's about lifting Him up!
The second commandment is also about speaking up with praise, magnifying the Lord, elevating His character, bringing glory to His reputation, and uplifting His status among the community of which I am a part.
I may not speak God's name in an unworthy manner, but sometimes I fail to speak about Him at all!
And, because I carry His name (Christian), I'm to be a reflection of His character (that's what it means to bring Him glory...)
No, I don't. I want to, but I don't....
Commandment 3. Protect the Sabbath.
Do no work on your "Day-of-Ceasing."
I continually play catch up in my office (whether it's at home, a hotel in a city where I'm speaking, or a Barnes and Noble) on Sunday afternoons.
Remember...you once were...and you now are...and you could have been...
The Sabbath is for remembering all God has done, from where I've come and what He protected me from, then celebrating it...with intention.
I forget to do just that.
The Sabbath is to be a sign of the covenant-of-love God has made with His children.
If a non-believer watched my Sabbath, there's be no indication of this covenant other than church attendance...
Commandment 4: Honor your father and mother.
Attached to it is this word: cherish.
Cherish: to protect, nurture, hold dear.
In a book titled by this same word, Gary Thomas (author) pointed to the following picture as a way to define this uncommonly used word.
"Touching moment as Thai beauty queen kneels down in a glittering tiara and sash to thank rubbish collecting mother who raised her!
- Khanittha (Mint) Phasaeng, 17, won Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015
- Her mother raised her alone by collecting and recycling trash
- Beauty queen returned home straight after her win to say thank you
- She says all she has accomplished is because of her mother's hard work"
Good parents, or not so much...
...they gave you life!
They could have chosen to do otherwise.
You are who you are because their blood runs through you.
Do not revile, abuse, disregard, or malign their character.
I can not say with a whole-heart that I have been a good daughter, honoring the memory of my parents who gave me LIFE!
Commandment 5: Do not murder.
Angry: Ever been exasperated? Annoyed? Infuriated? Provoked? Yep...Murderer!
Hate: Love less? To fall short of a 1 Corinthians 13 description in any way?
Yeah? Me, too!
I heard the gavel fall.
RICH IN MERCY!
...and He pursued me as He died in my place.
That's the ONLY reason I'm not in a puddled heap on this book store floor...
And, why I will leave this holy-sanctuary-place roaring with GRATITUDE!