Hood Ornament, Trailer Hitch, or Spark that Fires the Engine
by Phil Ware
How do you see your faith? What symbol would you pick for it?
Seems to me that a lot of us want our faith to be either our hood ornament or our trailer hitch. For some of us, we want our faith to be our good luck charm, our holy amulet, and our spiritual status symbol. In other words, it's our hood ornament: it doesn't serve any useful function, it just is there for folks to see and to remind us everything is going to be okay because we've got that holy ride.
Others of us want our faith to be the tack on tool that makes sure our loads get carried and problems get handled. It's our trailer hitch: while it serves a useful purpose, it's basically there to haul the stuff we're not sure how to handle.
The nice thing about hood ornaments and trailer hitches is that when circumstances change, we can change them without having to really change the mechanical heart of the car! Like them, our faith is an accessory or eye candy.
I'm not trying to be cynical. I want us to be honest about how we approach our faith; our religion as some folks call it. So listen to how folks talk about their faith the next few weeks. Why, let's even listen to how we talk about our own faith. If you listen carefully, I fear that you will find me correct on this one.
Jesus came to call us to a relationship with God, whom he taught us to call Abba Father. He told us that the most important thing for us is to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength."
What Jesus is trying to get us to see is that God will not settle for our faith being a hood ornament or a trailer hitch. He intended it to be the spark that fires the engine and powers the whole car. Rather than us setting aside a little bit of time and space on Sunday morning for worship, he wants all of our life to worship. Yes, our Sunday time with Christians is vital and important because it is to help stir us up to serve each other and God all week!
At first glance, this is a bit intimidating and threatening to us. God wants all of our lives offered to him! Then, if we let it, we can see all of our lives as part of our
worship to God. When we do something behind the scenes to bless someone without drawing attention to ourselves, our Father in heaven sees, is blessed, and will bless us.
As much as God is blessed by our words of praise and thanksgiving, he also recognizes our acts of kindness done for others as our sacrifice of praise and is pleased.
So let me encourage you to open your life to worship — in all places, at all times, to the God of all people, places, times, and things. As you do, you will find that your faith is not an ornament or hitch, but a spark that sets your heart on fire with God!
© 2004 Phil Ware All rights reserved.
Title: "Hood Ornament, Trailer Hitch, or Spark that Fires the Engine?"
Used with permission