We recently had a couple of little visitors stay the night with us. They are the children of some of our good friends. And on occasion, we (the parents) host a sleep over to give the other set of parents a night off. This was actually our first time to host the over-niter.
Our three-year-old, Jaxon, was so excited all day long about their visit. And they played hard the whole time they were here. They ran their little legs off outside and after their baths that night they chattered away until it was time for ‘lights out.’
We had decided to put all three boys in sleeping bags in the play room. They were all piled up with their blankets, stuffed animals and all the necessary supplies to get through the night when all of a sudden Jaxon had a meltdown. He said he was scared and wanted his daddy.
Try as I may, I couldn’t settle him down. There would be no substitute that night for his father.
So Mike came in the room and – at Jaxon’s request – lay on the floor with him. Jaxon nuzzled up close and in minutes was sound asleep. For whatever reason, he just wanted to be in the presence of his father.
Aren’t we all a little like that sometimes? There’s nothing that comforts or soothes our souls like being in the presence of our Father. And sometimes try as we may to fill that void with other things, we just can’t be at peace until we are nuzzled up against our Heavenly Father, spending time in His presence and enjoying the comfort of His company.
I recently heard of a lady who was leaving her church after many years as a member. At first I thought, “Well, that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes God leads us to different places and different ministries throughout life. Change is good.”
But then I heard the reason she was leaving. Apparently, the choir she was a long-time member of had a tradition of singing grand “choir specials” each Sunday morning. I know exactly the type of musical number she’s talking about! Big, orchestra accompanied songs with a soloist and strong choir back up. I grew up in a church that had those and they are beautiful and certainly one way to sing praises to the Lord.
But this lady felt that since the choir wasn’t doing much of that any more that meant she could no longer “use her gifts” and therefore she was leaving the church she had called home for many years.
Now, I don’t know this lady. And I haven’t discussed this topic with her – so this is just my unsolicited opinion. But I believe I can use my gifts when I am in the car all alone singing to God on the way to the grocery store. I can use my gifts sitting on the back row of church with nobody looking as I raise my hands to praise God for what He’s doing in my life. I can use my gifts when I hold a baby in the nursery on the Sunday I signed up to help there.
If truly we are concerned with an Audience of One then it seems like it doesn’t matter how grand or visible the display of our gifts and talents are; our God sees them and it pleases His heart. And that’s the one I care the most about.