Living for Glory
The first day I moved into my off-campus house in August, I was a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of essentially living on my own for the first time in my life. While there were four other roommates dwelling in our humble abode, our differences in scheduling would not grant us extensive time to bond or even see each other on a consistent basis apart from early mornings and late evenings. With this in mind, I knew I would pretty much be on my own for the majority of the time.
I still remember the day my roommate (who I knew from my dorm last year) and I attempted to tame the wilds of a kitchen maintained and operated by men. It made me think of God asking Job about his ability to control and tame the Leviathan in Job 41 ,
"Can you draw out the expired chicken breasts from the bottom drawer of the refrigerator with an ungloved hand?
Can you scrub the crusty countertops of their coffee stains and orange juice puddles?
Will you dare to wipe the splattered remnants of chili beans, vegetable stew, and nacho cheese from the inside of the microwave?"
I spoke of things I did not understand, but God, rich in His mercy, provided us with the ability to take back control of the kitchen. And to this day it remains domesticated, but every now and then it attempts to break free from it's bindings, but God has remained faithful.
In all seriousness though, I remember one task in particular I found especially menial and degrading.
Washing the dishes.
When I lived at home back in Washington I would purposely go out of my way to avoid putting the dishes in the dishwasher. I remember specific times when I would take a plate or a cup left in my room and walk to the kitchen to put it in the sink. Upon entering the kitchen I would discover a pile of dishes stacked in the sink waiting to be placed in a dishwasher that was definitely full of clean dishes waiting to be put in the cupboards.
I would take a long, hard look at the pile of dishes and immediately head back into my room, plate and cup still in hand, to not disturb the stacks or gain any unwanted attention from my dad in the other room who would WITHOUT A DOUBT tell me to deal with the pile of dishes. I avoided the dishes like an Israelite avoided leprosy.
As I approached the kitchen sink of The Dudeplex, Leviathan stared into my soul, a monstrosity of plates, cups, forks, spoons, bowls, and coffee mugs. He was precariously stacked, held together by the grace of God alone, I'm sure. But I knew he must be conquered.
And conquered he was.
Almost two months later, I have gotten pretty good at doing the dishes. I no longer cringe at the sight of stacked cups and crusty silverware, but instead look at it as an opportunity to give glory to God. I can think of one such experience that took place last week.
It was the weekend, Saturday I believe, pretty late in the afternoon. Lynchburg is slowly transitioning into Autumn, making for cooler evenings, but the sun was setting towards the window over the sink. There was a nice breeze so I had opened the window to welcome it into the house. As the warm water filled the sink and the bubbles emerged from their watery origin, I looked out of the window and observed one of the larger trees in our backyard. Every time a strong breeze would blow through our backyard the wind would push itself through the drying leaves of that tree making a chorus of sound erupt from the branches. I did not notice this leafy orchestra at first as I was distracted from the stacks of dishes but as I was scrubbing a plate I witnessed a great gust of wind blow through the branches of that tree.
I stood there clutching a suds-covered plate and a dingy sponge, and thought of Isaiah 55:12,
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
What an incredible God we serve. Creation cannot help but call out to Him in worship, for it was the very reason why it was created.
As I write this I'm not really sure where I was planning on going, but I do want to convey to you that no matter how insignificant something may seem, understand that it can be used for the glory of God. The rain falling from the sky, a bird soaring through the air, the leaves of a tree erupting in applause. Creation does its duty to God ,and just as we are His created beings, we too should allow our lives to be centered around His glory.
When we are able to see our daily activities as not just a task to be completed, but instead as an opportunity to give glory to God, we will begin to see God in every aspect of our lives. We will see Him in washing the dishes, we will see Him in making our dinner, we will see Him in raking the leaves. It is with this understanding that we will not see our lives as simply a means to an end but purely for the glory of God.
Live your life with intentionality, never being confused as to why you are doing something. Do all for His glory.