I had a potty-training toddler in my home this week. Like most two-year-old boys, this one is not nearly as eager for mastering this milestone as the adults in his life, but he’s giving some half-hearted effort from time to time. To increase his level of commitment, his momma is rewarding him with an M&M every time the deed is adequately done. When I was handed the small container of M&Ms with instructions, I absent-mindedly set them in my bay window and went on about my business.
An hour or so later, Little Guy’s six-year-old sister came in and just stood near me while I worked in the kitchen. After a few seconds, she inquired, “Why is he bowing down to M&Ms?”
I stopped what I was doing and looked at her. “What?” I asked.
She jerked her head toward the bay window and repeated her question: “Why is he bowing down to M&Ms?”
I followed her gaze and took in the scene. From her perspective, the shepherd in my African nativity display did, indeed, look as though he was paying homage to the tiny container of M&Ms! I laughed and laughed! I then explained that the candies were just randomly set on the ledge and lifted her and her little sister up to see the true recipient of the shepherd’s worship: Sweet Baby Jesus.
I continued my work in the kitchen with a smile on my face, appreciating the good laugh this precious little girl had given me. Life is almost always more interesting when occasionally seen through the eyes of a child! What was so obvious to me was completely missed by my young friend. I was tall enough to see the whole picture while she and her sister were not.
I wonder how many times I have looked like I was the one bowing down to something as ridiculous as M&Ms. How many times have I been mindlessly going through life, paying little attention to the decisions I made, giving the very appearance of bowing down to that which is worthless? From the perspective of the ones around me, where does my heart lie?
Lord, help me to speak, to act, to live as though You are the sole object of my worship.