A week ago last Friday our family car got totalled by a rogue deer. We were on our way home from the movie theatre at about 11:30 at night and traveling rather briskly on Highway 70 when a doe ran into the driver’s side of the car near the side mirror.
Being dark I never saw it coming except for a brief glimpse just in time to grip the steering wheel. Thankfully we were not pushed into the next lane which was occupied by a semi and none of us was hurt – except for the deer.
The car is mostly fixable but we’ve been using a rental for several days now. It’s a no-frills Chevy Aveo but it is new – less than 300 miles. Given that our newest vehicle is 14 years old, even this most basic of cars is a real treat.
One of the newer features that we are unaccustomed to is automatic headlights whenever you turn on the car. It’s suppose to make driving safer even during the daylight hours. Makes sense to me.
Last night I jumped in it around 11:00 pm to go pick the girls up from working at the Wayne County Fair and when I pulled out of the drive I moved the switch to bump my lights up to hi-beam… but nothing happened. When I glanced down at the dashboard I realized it was black because I hadn’t turned on the headlights. I hadn’t noticed because of the automatic ones that come on every time you start the car.
After only a few days of driving this new rental car I’d somehow forgotten to think of turning on the headlights. I wasn’t engaging in the basics of driving a car. If it can happen that easily with something as simple as headlights, imagine how fast it can happen when we offer our praise to God.
We go to church most weekends and engage in largely the same routine each time. We even sing familiar songs. How often do we mouth the words without engaging our heads or hearts in the process? Do you suppose that God is honored or pleased when we offer praise to Him out of habit?
Jesus offered a stern rebuke in Matthew 15:7-8 when He said:
“You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.'”
Whenever it is that you gather with a fellowship of Christ followers… don’t give in to shallow praise!
To read more about making our gatherings meaningful check out PointMan.