Don't Miss the Big E on God's Eye Chart

by Bill Allison

Sherlock Holmes and his faithful sidekick, Watson, went on a camping trip. They took all the accoutrements needed for a successful camping excursion: a tent, Coleman stove, lantern, sleeping bags, and food. About halfway through the night, Sherlock elbowed Watson and said, “Take a good look at those stars Watson. Now what do all those bright shining stars mean to you?”

Watson, though groggy, wiped the sleep from his eyes and looked up to see a stunningly clear sky speckled with thousands of brilliantly shining stars. Ever the intellectual, Watson responded in typical fashion: “Philosophically, those beautiful stars tell me that our galaxy, the Milky Way Galaxy, is but one of about 100,000 million galaxies in the universe. Therefore, those stars are constant reminders that we, as important as we think we are, are fairly insignificant in the greater realm of the universe. On the other hand, theologically, those beautiful stars remind me that there is a God in Heaven who created those stars, and that we, as people, are very significant because we are a part of God’s immense divine creation. Atmospherically, those beautiful stars tell me that there is a good chance that we are going to experience fair weather tomorrow.” 

 There was a long pause as Watson’s philosophical musings hung thick in the air. Finally, Watson broke the contemplative silence and asked, “What do all those beautiful stars mean to you Sherlock?”

Sherlock responded, “Elementary my dear Watson: Someone has stolen our tent.”

Sometimes the obvious is so obvious that it's not obvious. (Think about the irony of that for a moment.) It’s like missing the big “E” on the eye chart. It’s so prominent, we fail to see it. This happens way more than we realize—especially in the midst of a busy summer of serving God.

According to Mark 12:28-31, God’s big “E” for us is: love God and love people... 

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
The sequence is significant. If we love the God of the Bible supremely, His love will inflow into our lives and then overflow from us to the people around us. And it’s God’s love at work in our lives that causes us to joyfully throw ourselves into various kinds of service and ministry activities.

So far, so good. But is it?

The danger is that we can fall in love with serving God and miss... God. Our love for serving God—rather than our love for God and people—can become the big “E” in our lives. It’s a slow, subtle, and sinister shift in focus away from God’s big “E” for us—with perilous ramifications.

Here’s a strange-but-true phenomena in Christianity: It’s quite possible to love serving God without actually loving God and people.

In the middle of all your serving, don’t miss God’s big “E."

How can you make sure the big "E" in your life is loving God and loving people? Consider making one or more of following five ideas a part of your daily routine. Better yet engage any of these ideas with a friend or two—or as a family...

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Kathy Horath said…
I love this post. I have been feeling God's direction for us to love God, and love People. Our church actually adopted this as their mantra for the last year.

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