Several weeks ago we laid new carpet in our church sanctuary. What once was spotty red pieces scattered upon cement became a wonderful single-piece of gray-brown delight. Everyone was excited as the first Sunday with the new carpet rolled around. The walls were freshly painted, we had a new ceiling, and the floor looked great. Well that was until the pastor stood with a cup of coffee …
Okay he didn’t actually stand with a mug in hand. In fact, it would be one of those “end of the world” surprises to find a cup in his hand with the brewed stuff inside. The night before we were talking about the new carpet and he was adamant – in fact he was inexorable – about how we treat the new carpet. But it’s not as you might expect. He said, “People, not the carpet, are our focus. Sure, we want to keep the carpet as nice as possible for as long as possible. But so what if someone spills a large cup of coffee on it?!?!” He was so insistent in his view that he declared the next morning he was going to stand with mug in hand and purposely tip it on end to shower the floor with its first “oops” stain. With the first spill out of the way, he said, we can quit worrying about the trivial and focus on souls.
The next day arrived and, as assumed, several individuals self appointed themselves as Guardians of the New Rug. As service started, Stephen walked to the front only to find he had forgotten to grab a cup of the “addict’s drink” (tongue in cheek) but strongly emphasized the necessity to focus on people not the carpet.
How often in our own lives do we focus on the trite and miss the triumphant? We grumble, complain, worry, and clamor for all the wrong things and for the wrong reasons. Sure we want to keep our “carpet” nice as long as possible; but that’s not the big deal. Jesus – His glory, His renown, His will and purpose, His Lordship, His life, His Word – is to be the entire focus of our lives. It is a total focus on Jesus and a total surrender to Him in order that He might live His life through us to teach, touch, and transform the world. Will you quit worrying about your petty “carpet”? – for its only a matter of time before someone spills some coffee.