I just absolutely love this picture. And, I absolutely love digital cameras that help me to take great pictures when I have no idea what I’m doing. I took this picture up on the hill where our church meets. Our church is blessed to be able to rent a facility that sits a top a hill, overlooking a vineyard valley and the Russian River below. As you walk from the church building, across a grassy, tree lined green belt, you then come to this overlook…and this is what you’ll see. Except, it’s always changing depending on what season we’re in. In the Summer, the vineyards are deep green, and the river is low and slow. When it’s very hot, and believe me it gets very hot up there in the summer, you can hike down the trails after church and float down the river. In the winter, the vines are bare with no leaves, but the hills all around are deep green. Sort of what I would imagine Ireland to look like. The river, on the other hand, is swollen and high from the rains. It moves swiftly, taking with it tree branches and debris, and even people if they’re not careful. And the picture you see above is Fall. Probably my favorite season in these parts. All this to say that I went up there one afternoon, about two weeks ago, to try to get some shots of the beautiful fall colors before they were all gone.
All these thoughts and reflections of that day came about as I was cleaning a bookshelf in my bedroom. These shelves are just packed full of books, and I’m embarrassed to say, had not been dusted in weeks. As I was pulling all these books from the shelf; commentaries, dictionaries, study guides, fiction, biographies…I came across a tiny book called, “Gems From Tozer: Selections from the writings of A.W. Tozer” It’s a conglomeration of lines, paragraphs, and sayings from several of Tozers books. The second chapter of the book is called, “The Missing Jewel Of Worship”. The first line of this chapter hooked me, right in the heart. It said, “We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God.” Everlasting? You mean boundless, abiding, ceaseless, endless, imperishable, continuous, timeless, uninterrupted, indestructible, permanent, undying, and eternal? That kind of everlasting? (No, I’m not that smart…I used a Thesaurus) I stood up on that hill, overlooking that beautiful, golden valley. The air was warm, the wind gently moved the leaves in the trees. I could hear the soft babble of the river down below. I tell ya, all I wanted to do was lay down in the grass under those trees and worship my God. But I couldn’t. I was in a hurry. I had somewhere else to be and only had a few minutes to take my pictures. So, snap, snap, snap, and back in the car I went to drive back down the hill. It wasn’t until I uploaded, and saw those beautiful pictures, and then decided to clean a bookshelf, that the Lord spoke to me about Himself. He’s so good to take the simple things in our lives, like pictures and cleaning, to speak into our hearts a deeper truth. Oh how I want to be an endless, timeless, uninterrupted (and all those other words), worshipper of God. Does this mean I walk around in a dreamlike state…unfocused, uninvolved, never really a part of this life? You’ve heard the saying, “Too heavenly minded for any earthly good”. By the way, I detest that saying. How could anyone ever be too heavenly minded? If anything, we can very easily be too earthly minded for any heavenly good. You see, I believe that everything we do here in this life is to be worship to our God. Now, you can define what “everything” means to you. For me it means EVERYTHING. That may sound nebulous. But Tozer also says, “Worship means ‘to feel in the heart.'” In other words, as I go through the motions and tasks of my day, it means nothing without my Lord. All I have in this life has been given by Him. He has given Himself so freely to me. I, with heartfelt worship, will give all back to Him. Getting up in the morning and making breakfast can be worship to Him. Going to work or school can be worship. Raising our kids, taking care of elderly parents, doing the dishes, cleaning a bathroom, sitting in church on Sunday, or standing on a hill to breathe in the beauty surrounding you…all can be worship to the King.
“All the earth shall worship You and sing praises to You. They shall sing praises to Your Name.” Selah