To party or not to party... that is the question!

Posted 10 Sep 2013

Isaiah 5:11-12 (NLT)
11 What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning looking for a drink of alcohol
and spend long evenings drinking wine
to make themselves flaming drunk.
12 They furnish wine and lovely music at their grand parties—
lyre and harp, tambourine and flute—
but they never think about the Lord
or notice what he is doing.

That last part really struck me today, “… but they never think about the Lord, or notice what he is doing.”

That sounds VERY SAD to me. Not from God’s perspective, because the Lord is totally self-sufficient; He doesn’t have the human desire or the human anxiety & need to be recognised, noticed & affirmed! No, it is sad from the perspective of people who DON’T notice the subtle, wonderful things God is doing. They are the ones who are missing out, & Big Time!

God’s not a Killjoy!
In the “story” above (Isaiah 5:11-12) we have a word picture description of people who seem to be having fun: partying, drinking, making music, revelling, grand parties. That sounds like a good description of fun… until you read the last part, “… but they never think about the Lord, or notice what he is doing.” It seems to me that this Bible passage is suggesting that God does things that are fully observable: anyone can see them, the problem is that not everyone NOTICES them. We can have fun (parties, music, etc) & that’s OK – no problem there. But if that is the height of what we do; the pinnacle of what we do, then I think we have missed a higher purpose or meaning in our lives. Parties can be fun, no doubt about that. It’s great to be with friends, having a laugh. And I believe the Lord provides us with these opportunities – & expects us to enjoy them too! He’s no “kill joy”, after all! But I think the Lord also wants us to notice what He is doing after the party comes to an end; when we are quiet; when we are reflecting on the events of the party, or other events of our lives.

Imagine a life-long party!
We imagine that if life was one long 70-80 year party that we would have fun all the time. But actually I think we need variety; changes in pace within our lives. Quiet, reflective times are useful, & act as accents & counter-points to the more quick-paced, fun-loving, party times. I think a life-long party would become pretty stale & pretty boring after the first 3-4 days, never mind the first 3-4 years!

Missing out.
If we “never think about the Lord, or notice what he is doing” then I think we miss out on some pretty amazing, wonderful, subtle, mysterious, awe-inspiring things. For me, THINKING about the Lord & what He is doing is great fun, encouraging, faith-building, & life-affirming. It helps me to enjoy the parties, AND enjoy the quieter times too. I like to notice the “little” things in life. I like to ponder & question & wonder about stuff: large-scale & minute. And among all my musings & thoughts, there I find the Lord… “walking” along beside my thought-self, quietly, subtly conversing with me. The Lord God, supreme being, King above all others, Creator & sustain-er of the whole universe – this person who deserves everyone’s attention; who is most able & most capable; who is subtle & mysterious & wonderful & amazing… He deigns to “walk” beside me, & wants to talk to me – Wow! He enjoys showing me “stuff”, He seems to enjoy me noticing what He is doing…
… He wants to talk to YOU too… will you “give him the time of day”? Will you allow God to “speak” to you through a sunset; through something that someone says to you? Through a thought or an event in your life? God seems to enjoy us noticing what He is doing, though He is never anxious that we notice what He is doing. I think He just likes to SHARE WITH US the various things He does. It’s about relationship, after all.

For me, one of the saddest things in this life is to consider people who are “blind” to the subtle works of God, & who only live for the more obvious things… like the fun of the party. You’re SO missing out! Look up from the party floor & notice what God is doing… He really will AMAZE YOU with what He is doing… if you let Him get your attention first.

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