Tuesday, February 8, 2011

God's Slush Pile

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men – Colossians 3:23
I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at that verse. I knew what it meant and I don’t know that what I’m going to say today does anything to change that understanding, but I had reason to give it special thought the other day. I heard someone telling a story about a man who was doing some work that no one else would ever see. He reached the end of what he was doing, looked at it and tore it apart. A younger co-worker asked him why he did that, since no one would see it and it was good enough. The man said that he wasn’t doing the work for other people or even himself, he was doing it for God.

I think we have a tendency to think about how forgiving God is and we think that he will be willing to overlook the flaws in what we do. We think of him like a grandmother who will hang her grandchildren’s artwork up like a masterpiece, even though it is crude. But let’s think about that. Is that the proper attitude with the God of the Universe? In the Old Testament, God demanded the best for sacrifice. He wanted the ones without spot. Yes, he knew they were just going to be burned on the altar, but he wanted the best anyway.

When you sit down to write, do you give thought to whether your work will appear before a publisher or not? Do you work harder on if it will? Shouldn’t we work even harder for perfection if it is for God? When we sit down to write, we should take the attitude that we are preparing a gift for God. Not just any gift will do. This is a gift for that person who truly has everything. This is a gift for a person who receives gifts from millions of people. While we need not compete for God’s affections, I image what my gift would look like if it were stuck in a pile of all the other gifts. God’s slush pile far exceeds that of any agent or editor. That should make us want to put more work into it and offer our very best to God.