Yesterday was our nursery day. We serve once a month, wiping noses and rolling balls with an occasionally rowdy and always cute group of 12-18 month olds.
I don’t love doing it, but I don’t mind. Mark is not nearly as fond of it, but that could be partly because I usually put him on Kleenex duty. (Hey, as the lead teacher, I’m on diaper duty. So he really shouldn’t complain.)
This week, though, we lucked out. Well, I say “we,” but I really mean ME. Mark was down and out with the flu for a couple days (although after literally [yes, literally] sleeping for 24 hours, he seems to be on the mend), so I was on my own.
And we had NO kids in the nursery. It was weird. I had everything ready; I even got there early. The sign-up sheet was outside the door, the attendance sheet was ready, the Kleenex box was full. I even had pieces of masking tape torn off for labeling bags and sippy cups.
But no kids. So after waiting for about 20 minutes, I got to sneak into church. I’m so glad I did.
Our youth group went to the Philippines for a mission trip, and they talked to our congregation this Sunday about what they saw and what they learned.
Two high school kids talked about what God taught them during the trip, they showed a video of their time in Manila (including some pretty good dancing for Baptist kids), and then the youth pastor spoke.
He said he wanted to address the elephant in the room.
The kids and adult leaders had just walked across the platform up front, holding what they called cardboard testimonies. One side of their posters said things like “Eyes closed” and “God provides some things,” while the flip side said, “Eyes opened” and “God provides everything.”
Our pastor said he knew what we were thinking: How long will this last? How long until they go back to normal?
He said he was concerned for all of them, himself included, that the passion they felt would fade. And he said after reading in Deuteronomy (I don’t know where; I didn’t have my Bible on hand since I had planned to be in the nursery.), he realized the reason we all have trouble sustaining the fire we feel during a mountaintop experience.
We worship the experience, instead of the GOD of the experience.
The testimonies of the kids and the video and the cardboard made me cry. I couldn’t seem to stop my right eye from leaking the whole morning. But that statement right there?
Well, it just about did me in. Because it applies to a very specific part of my life, and I hadn’t realized until that moment that as I’ve tried to process and deal with and recover from what happened, I’ve been worshipping the experience.
I’ll talk more about that tomorrow. But for now, I’m wondering if you’ve had this happen in your life. Have you ever had an amazing experience with God, really heard from Him or seen Him work – only to realize later that you had begun worshipping the experience and not God?
Have you worshipped the experience instead of the God of the experience?