Psalms 96, 147:1-11
1 Peter 2:1-10
Last night, before a meeting up here at the church, I got bit pretty hard by the bug of bicycling. I really wanted to get out on a bike and ride about. So I set out to go to work on the route that I had taken a thousand times before. I was coming down a particular hill, with a car behind me and another car oncoming. I looked ahead and noticed that this road that I had been on a thousand times before had been ripped up, and that they had put down a steel plate. Steel plates are no good for slick bicycle tires, so I quickly started to plot my line to steer clear of it and the cars around me. And that's when I noticed the gravel...
My wheels slipped out from under me. I knew I was going about 15 miles an hour or so, making a fall undesirable to say the least. Plus those pesky cars on either side of me. I was at about a 45 degree angle, and somehow, in time so slow I could see the flapping of a hummingbird's wings, I managed to pull myself up, right the bike, and keep riding without touching the ground. It was miraculous to say the least.
After the meeting finished, I knew I had to ride home. I was a nervous ball of anxiety and adrenaline, but failing to get back on the bike would have made it all but impossible to get back on later. So I hopped back on, said a quick prayer, and started to pedal.
It's amazing how much you can slow down when you are both scared of your surroundings and also pretty sure you were close to tasting death just hours before. So my ride home took on a different flavor than most. This was not a commute that stood between work and home. This was an opportunity to drink in my surroundings. This was a chance to hear the little chirps of animals scurrying in the woods. Or see the beauty of the changing leafs around me. Or, when I hit a particularly dark clearing, see the brightness of the stars. I had slowed down, and now I could see the beauty all around me.
In the morning Psalm today, we read that "all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens." It might not be super clear how much the writer is trolling the people who worship idols in that sentence. Idols at that time were little statues that people would bow down and worship as if they were gods. Someone had to craft those statues, which means it was someone's job down at the shop to carve a little man or woman out of wood, that someone would worship. An idol, by itself is incapable of creating. It has no generative power. It is, basically, unimpressive.
The God of Israel, however, has some serious creative potential. This God is not made by human hands, like some unimpressive statue. This God made the materials to make the unimpressive statue. This God made the leafs. This God made the stars. This God made the created order that I am all too often in too big a hurry to pay attention to.
As previously mentioned, I am all too often guilty of paying attention to things that I create. The things I buy. The idols in my bank account. But last night, thanks to a near death experience (sort of), I broke through and saw the God of creation at work in my life. It just makes me want to slow down more. It makes me want to take full advantage of all that God has made and done in my life.
So let's get out there, eh?