Most of y'all know that I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. I've stayed up 'til midnight the watch the first showings of two--maybe three--of their movies (and the book release of Book 7) and I intend to do so for the final two movies coming out in the next year. My 37th birthday party was Harry Potter themed. I even have a Gryffindor themed outfit to wear on special occasions. I love Harry Potter.
I'm also a music lover! My "style" might not be very modern or fashionable, but I love my tunes. My IPOD--at one time--was filled with 1800 songs. Presently, I happen to have fewer songs, but the loss of my inaugural library is a whole 'nuther story. If I am in the kitchen--where the IPOD docking station sits, the music is on. If i'm cooking, I'm singing. If I'm doing dishes, I'm dancing--and singing, also. I love music!!
I'd never thought of it in this way, but it could be said that I'm "charmed" by music and Harry Potter (and well, reading in general). If I was able, I might spend a great deal of my time reading or singing. Doing these things just make me--well, happy! So, my thought was at this point: what would happen if I had to give them up?
We sang a song in worship this morning. Part of it goes this way: "...all the vain things that charm me most. I sacrifice them to His blood." The song is--of course--a way to remind ourselves that serving and loving God is our most important job. But I began thinking about that idea. What are the things which charm me most? Harry Potter, reading, and music certainly rank highly on the list. I'm sure with greater effort (and time) I could add a few other things to that list. What is on your list? I'm being serious, now! What are things that really make you happy to do them?
Then imagine having to give them up. No more reading anything for fun or learning. No more singing anything or at any time except worship. No more.....(insert thing that charms you most). Now, I'm not saying we couldn't survive without all these charming things, but--to be truthful--they do add some happiness to our lives, yeah?
I was pondering the whole idea when I thought of the first century Christians who--instead of securing their physical lives--refused to deny Christ even in the face of their destruction by wild animals or military sword.
I thought of Christ who--instead of calling 10,000 angels to save Himself--suffered the shame of the cross in order to secure our salvation.
I thought of Stephen who--instead of lying to avoid stoning--told the Truth--BOLDLY--to his murderers; and therefore, lost his life.
These people put God exactly and precisely FIRST in their lives. Do we? I'm not saying we should throw out our IPODS and libraries and all the fun little charming things we have. However, we really must have an attitude and behavior that indicates to God that we put Him first. He has to be our first priority. And I suppose it wouldn't hurt one bit if we found a way to have spiritual things on our list of things that "charm" us most. It'd be easier that way, wouldn't it? ;-P
The question remains. Can we do it? Can we sacrifice the things which charm us in order to live a life which pleases and glorifies our God? Can I? Can you? Just some food for thought.