Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 0 comments

While listing items on eBay in the evening (which is another story entirely), out of habit I often have the television on in the background. Last night I listened to a sitcom that I’d never watched before (and probably won’t again). It featured the dysfunctional family typically found on television these days, with one exception: this family attended church. The mother has been a part of the church choir for seventeen years, and for seventeen years the same woman had sung the lead in the Christmas Eve service. This year the woman was unable to sing, giving the mother a chance at the part she’s always wanted. The dilemma was she couldn’t put the extra time into choir practice when there were so many preparations to be made for Christmas.

Enter the typical, inept father. Not working for the holidays, he offered to take care of ALL the Christmas preparations so his wife could focus on her singing. Of course, every time he completed a task, she would say, “I can’t believe you did that without me! That was my favorite part!” Each time, this was followed by a flashback of her begrudgingly doing the task and complaining about her family’s lack of participation. Oh, how our minds like to improve on the past! I wonder if that’s what Lot’s wife did. She was told to leave Sodom and begrudgingly did, but she “looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” (Genesis 19:26) Rather than focusing on the blessings of that moment, she looked back to mourn what she had left behind. I’m sure her memories, too, were far better than the reality they represented.

The show concluded at the Christmas Eve service. The choir stood in the front of the church, dressed in their choir robes, and the mother kept shooing people out of the front row seats that she was saving for her family. Back at home, the father had just woken up after dozing in front of the TV and was frantically trying to get the family into the car so they could get to church. They arrived just as the mother was starting her solo. She was singing the words to the Christmas song while simultaneously shooting daggers at her disheveled family as they attempted to sneak into the back row.

Again, rather than focusing on the blessings of that moment they were lost because her focus was elsewhere. This mother had waited seventeen years for this solo, and yet she did not enjoy it because she was instead focused on what wasn’t going her way. How often do we do that? We physically go through the motions while our heart is elsewhere.

"And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?" (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)


God doesn't want us just going through the motions, He wants us to serve Him with all our heart.

Father, during this busy Christmas season, help me to keep my focus where it should be - on You and on the precious gift of Your Son. I want to have an undivided heart so that I may serve You fully and in a way pleasing to You. Your Daughter, Lisa

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