Thursday, January 15, 2009


Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you (Exodus 25:9).

One of the marks of success in our culture is a measure of freedom from details, those pesky niceties that plague our grand ideas. The most successful among us have demonstrated their capacity for big picture thinking. They major on majors – long range goals, vision, core values.

This seems to be built into the way God designed the universe. As much as we may hate to admit it, those who articulate the big picture are often remarkably inept at details. Those who relish every detail are often remarkably ineffective at pulling others into a synergistic movement toward a shared goal.

Some do details. Some don’t. This fits what we know about human nature. It fits what we know about the organizations we’re associated with. But our ways are not God’s ways (Isaiah 55:8).

Enter God and his prolonged meeting with Moses on Sinai.

In Exodus 24 God basically said to Moses, “I’d like to see you in my office” (Exodus 24:12). Getting to this meeting required some effort and patience. Moses had to get to the top of Mount Sinai. Once there it became clear that this was executive level stuff. A cloud blanketed the mountain. To the Israelites below it looked like a consuming fire. And there Moses waited on God. God always seems to be teaching us to wait, no exception for Moses.

Moses waited for six days. On the seventh day God finally showed up. The agenda for this Sinai meeting focused largely on the tabernacle, the place of worship: what it should look like, what kind of furniture it would hold, how altars were to be built and what kinds of garments the priests would wear. You won’t read word about core values or vision. It’s all micro, not macro. Exodus 25-31 does not make for exciting reading. But once you’ve worked through these chapters you cannot escape this conclusion: Details matter to God.

Maybe one of the reasons we don’t find God in the everyday is because we’re not convinced that the everyday really matters to God. Exodus 25-31 should remove all doubt. Every detail of your life is significant. Spiritual importance is attached to the most mundane parts of your life.

God doesn’t simply care about whether you attend public worship. God cares about how you conduct yourself as you look for a parking place before worship. God doesn’t simply want you to believe in Jesus. God wants you to act and speak like Jesus when you get a sales call at home in the evening or when you stand in line to renew the tags for your car. Everything matters to God. As we come to know this, everything begins to matter to us – and we find God in the everyday.

Lord Jesus, in these moments I bring the details of my life, my day, before you. Remind me throughout this day that every minute matters to you, that you care about the details of my life. Help me to pay as much attention to the details as you do – and help me to find you in all of them. Amen.

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