Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Twitter knows that I post entirely too many pictures of our dog, Elphie. We’ve had Elphie since last May and I’ve become someone who loves a dog a misses her when not at home. Just this past weekend Alycia and I were in San Diego celebrating my grandpa’s 92nd birthday and we had to leave Elphie at home. By the time we got home on Sunday, Alycia and I had missed Elphie so much that we decided to take her with us to church.
We have small groups and worship through music for high school students on Sunday nights. It’s a great opportunity for our students to build community with each other and connect intimately with God through worship. Small groups and worship were instrumental in my development and I love that our students have the opportunity for both.
Last night was a little different, though, worshiping God with Elphie sitting on my lap. Elphie was so excited to be in a big room surrounded by such a large number of people. She wanted to run around the chairs, sniff people’s shoes and try to jump in their laps. Since that would obviously be a distraction, I held onto Elphie and kept her in my lap, much to her dismay.
As I was singing songs to Jesus while holding Elphie in my lap, it struck me that Elphie praises God when she runs around chairs, sniffs people’s shoes and jumps in their laps. Dogs praise God when they act like dogs. Just like cats praise God when they act like cats. Just like the rocks cry out their praise when they act like rocks. Elphie has no choice to praise God; her mere existence praises God because she does exactly what she was created to do.
Our situation as human beings, though, couldn’t be any more different. We have the choice to praise God with our lives. While we were created to bring God glory and praise, God also created us with the ability to choose that life or not. We’re at our best when we live to bring God glory, but we often allow the distractions of this world to keep us stuck in the less-than-best.
We shouldn’t envy Elphie or elephants because of their constant praise of Elohim. Instead we should strive to live up to God’s intention and praise him in all that we do. Praising God in all that we do won’t be as effortless as it is for Elphie, but it will be far more rewarding.
What helps you praise God throughout the day?