Thoughts by CARadke on
Devotions for the Man in the Mirror
by Patrick Morley

4. Worship: Our Attitude Toward God

Morley focuses on our attitude toward God today. How much reverence do we have for the Creator of the universe?

I enjoyed reading Morley's discussion of talking with important people. It reminded me of my first job out of law school working as a clerk for "The Honorable Hez J. Bussey of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals." One day my mother came to my office at the capitol so that we could go to lunch. When she arrived, I offered to take her to meet "The Judge." Her eyes grew larger than I had ever seen them as she said, "Oh, my!" She stammered for several moments as I reassured her that everything would be OK. We went to the judge's chambers. My mother was obviously nervous, but the introduction went just fine. As we left the court she commented on the judge's graciousness and said, "I guess that wasn't so bad."

So bad? Is that how we look at being introduced to "important people?" I hope not. Is that how we should look at an opportunity to come face to face with God? I hope so! We should feel different when we come before God, partly because God is so great, but mostly because we are so unworthy. God is the perfect, holy creator of the universe; the judge of all. We are the creation that was given the special ability to choose between right and wrong--and we choose wrong so often.

In what small ways do we come before God each day? How often do we here or say the words, "Oh my God!"? We hear it and think, "Oh, it's just an expression. It doesn't really mean anything." How many times are we thinking about God when we say, "Oh my God"? Does God even cross our minds? He should. The very mention of God should always invoke a sense of Him. If mentioning God is "just an expression" to us, then that is exactly how people will see God through our lives.

In Exodus 20:7, God's people were commanded, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain." That's the old King James Version that we have all heard, but what does it mean? How is it put into practice? The Jews developed their observation of this commandment by prohibiting the utterance or expression of God's name to the point that they will not even write the word "God." Instead, they drop the vowel and write G-d. It is not a practice adopted by Christians, but to me, it makes a statement of reverence each time I come across something written by an orthodox Jew. With that one, simple notation, they identify their beliefs and they emphasize a reverence for the very name of God. How is our reverence for God reflected in our words and our actions?

As children we all learned, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me." Yet, names can hurt. And names can help. And the names we give to others say a lot about who we are. Do we honor people when we speak their names, or do we mock who they are by our "name calling?" Do we honor God when we speak His name, or do we render his name meaningless, "just an expression?" If we are to be God's people and a reflection of God's greatness, then God's name must be meaningful to us.

Dear Lord, you are great. You are holy. I am unworthy to speak your name, much less to be in your presence. Yet you welcome me, you invite me, you call me to be your child. Give me now a sense of you that I may stand in awe. Let that sense of you be ever present, and may all of my actions and all of my words always honor who you truly are, my Lord and my God. Amen.

Grace and peace--

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