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Thomas the Tank Engine & Loving God

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About a year ago, Caleb was just beginning to learn how to sit up on his own. While sitting in the middle of our living room floor, Holly decided to turn the television on to PBS. It was in the middle of an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine. Immediately, out of nowhere, Caleb’s eyes lit up. He began cooing and flipping out at the awesomeness that is Thomas and his friends.

It was the beginning of a new horribly annoying era in our home. Every day before his nap, Caleb gets to watch a Thomas and Friends episode. The moment the song comes on, he is in a trance. If he happens to spot a Thomas toy in the grocery store, he screams like a teenage girl who just ran into Justin Bieber. One time we even took Caleb to see Thomas in person. He almost ran onto the train track!

So now I live with this song in my head 24/7…

The worst part is what happens when I am travelling and I see a Thomas figurine in the Atlanta airport or hear the theme song playing as I’m flipping through channels in my hotel room. I actually pause for a moment and listen to it. It stirs a strange affection in me. Why? Because I love my son and he loves Thomas. So naturally, I love Thomas.

I love what Caleb loves because I love Caleb.

It’s the same thing that happened when I was in college and an episode of “John and Kate Plus Eight” showed up while I was channel surfing. Holly loved that show so when it came on, my heart was forced to care about it.

I love what Holly loves because I love Holly.

All of this brings to bear a painful question that I’m forced to ask myself. Do I truly love God the same way? Do I love him so much that I love the things he loves? My immediate reaction is to “Yes!” but my actions might say another. To truly worship him would mean to sacrifice my time, my money, and even my affections for the things that move his heart.

So what does God love? In a word, people. I love what Tim Keller once said in one of his sermons:

“I go down into the subway system every morning and see cars packed full of the most beautiful thing God ever made.”

God loves people the way I love Caleb and the way Caleb loves Thomas the Tank Engine (Ok, so maybe a little more than that…). This is why the second part of the Greatest Commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves. It’s why Jesus spent his entire ministry with the people that everyone else hated. It’s evidenced by the fact he put his image inside of us. Most importantly, it’s pictured in the way Jesus died for us.

Truly loving and worshipping Christ means loving the thing he is most passionate about. It means loving the people I can’t stand. It means praying for the ones who are making my life miserable. It means sacrificing my own needs for those whose needs are greater. This is the worship that moves God’s heart far more than any song or hymn ever could.

Posted in: Worship

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