Ok, today's passage got me. Someone go ahead and see if you can pull this splinter out from under my fingernail...no wait, I think I would rather have a splinter under my fingernail than to think about what the scripture today made me realize. Dang it, I hate when scripture does that to me.
Ok, this morning, the Old Testament text comes from Judges 17 and 18. There's not just a whole lot of "Wow!" stuff in this one this morning, but there is enough that it caught my attention. It tells the story of Micah and his mother, and his mother's silver, that evidently someone had taken. Turns out, the someone was Micah.
Now, I could stop right there and go one of two directions: I could talk about stealing, and I could talk about dishonoring your parents, but that's not what got me this morning; it comes a few lines later, and here is what it says: "Now this man Micah had a shrine..." That's it, but that was enough.
You see, the silver that belonged to his mother was cast into an idol. That idol was then given back to Micah, and Micah already had a spot in his house ready for it. Maybe it was a little niche in the wall, maybe it was something else, but he had built in a place for his idol. That was what he worshipped, and what he worshipped had its own place in the house; a shrine is what scripture calls it.
You may or may not know that Steph and I have just finished building a house. I've been working on it for 3 1/2 years in my spare time. Between getting my Master's of Divinity and serving 3 churches, I built a house. During the planning stage, we decided that we needed plenty of storage area, so I put in lots of closets, 11 closets to be exact. The old part of the house has a walk out attic, so that added another 200 square feet of storage space, but I decided that just wasn't enough. So, what did I do? I added a shrine.
My shrine is attached to the end of the house. It's 30 feet by 30 feet with a full staircase and full storage overhead. Altogether, my shrine has 1180 square feet in it. You could set our first house inside my shrine and have room to walk around it. Why did I build this shrine? Because I needed a place to put the stuff that I worship. Well, worship may be a little strong, but evidently this stuff is important or it wouldn't have its own place in our house. You get my drift.
I have a place built into my house just for the sole purpose of protecting the stuff that I think really needs protecting. Now, I don't go out there everyday and bow down before it, but as I look around at all of this stuff filling up my shrine, I think, "My gosh what am I doing?"
1180 square feet of storage space in my shrine...but there's the boats (both of them), all of my saws and power tools, tool boxes, boxes of books, boxes of toys, oh and the 4 wheeler, bicycles that we haven't ridden in years, paint cans, tarps, and that's just the stuff downstairs. Oh, and that's not counting the other shrine we have at the parsonage...more boxes, motorcycle, more tools, you get my point. It's ridiculous, and a lot of it is getting ready to go. I'm downsizing.
So, take today and look around. Where are the shrines in your house and what is in them? You just might be surprised at what you think is important.