A recent mishap the other day made me think about objects, things and relationships.
Those of us who have lost a loved one know how objects or things that belonged to our loved one has special meaning. The person is gone and all we have are the special items that used to be theirs.
On Mother’s Day, I got up and was making coffee for my wife and myself. We have always kept my mom’s sugar bowl and used it each day. When I was putting it away, I hit the bottom of the cabinet and it slipped out of my hand and shattered all over the counter. I felt so bad, it was like another piece of my mom was gone.
This brought to mind how we get so caught up on things. It makes sense in the human aspect, the loved one is gone and all we have are the things that bring to mind good memories. These things are not the person, but they help us think about the person.
Spiritually speaking, we seem to do the same thing. We have been taught that God is up in heaven, separated from us and we are waiting for some future day when we will be united. Because of this, we get caught up on the things of God more than on God directly. We look at things about God that help us think about Him, learn about Him, remember Him, yet they are not Him.
We start looking to the Bible as the only way to hear from God. Sometimes we go so far as to make the Bible part of the God-head and worship it, not seeing it as a book inspired by God. We look to a building we call the church for a place to go and meet with God and his people. We pray for God to show up or the Spirit to fall when we meet in ‘God’s house’.
The truth of the matter is the living Word of God, Jesus, actually lives within us through the Spirit. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, we are God’s house. We are one with God as Jesus prayed in John 17: 20-22: “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one.
Humanly speaking, when a loved one dies, all we have are things that were from our loved ones. All we can do is use those things for pleasant memories of the relationship we once had with that person.
Spiritually, we do not have to focus on the things of God, we have God right here within us. We can enjoy reading the Bible and seek truth as the Holy Spirit guides us. We can attend services together in a building, or anywhere else two or three gather, but we do not have to look to another human being as our spiritual guide. We should not make the things of God the main and only way of knowing our Father. To do this is to miss the most important part, which is a daily relationship with the living God who is within us.