For the last few days, I’ve been fighting a cold. So, Sunday morning, when we gathered together with our brothers and sisters in Christ, I tried not to get too close to most people – which was very difficult to do. But, Margaret told me to especially stay away from the babies – which is even harder to do.
I decided to sit across the room from my little friend Will, who just turned 7 months old. He was sitting on a blanket on the floor near his mother and father and some of their family and friends who were spending the weekend with them.
Will’s dad had brought his guitar, and was playing while we sang a few songs. A couple of the songs were about praising God.
Will sat on his blanket staring intently at his dad. Occasionally, Will would break out into a huge grin (ear to ear) and wave his arms around and sway back and forth. Then, he would stare at his dad again. He repeated this several times.
So, while we were singing songs about praising God (among other things), Will was watching his dad, smiling, and waving his arms.
And, of course, it hit me… that’s a picture of praise.
When we keep our eyes on God (our Father), and we cheer and celebrate when we see him doing something wonderful (even – or especially – when we don’t understand it)… that’s praise.
Of course, we also praise God when we submit ourselves to him and live in a manner that honors him. We also praise God with our words and songs.
But, perhaps the start of praise is always being awed and amazed at what God has done (both in the far and near past), what he is doing (close by and far away), and what he will continue to do (both in the near and far future).
I love it when God teaches me through “living parables” like this. To me, a “living parable” is an episode of life (usually simple and common and easily recognizable) in which God teaches a big spiritual lesson.
How about you? Has God ever taught you something through some kind of “living parable”? Care to share it with us?