birthday faith Honeybee reflections

What’s your motivation?

This morning, I went to church with the family.

The sermon came out of 1 Chronicles where King David has conferred with all of the scholars and leaders and advisers and decides to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to the people of God.  With the buy in of all the advisers, King David plans a HUGE celebration and the ark is carried on a cart drawn by oxen toward the city while everyone dances and sings around it.  When one of the oxen stumbles, a man by the name of Uzza reaches out and touches the ark to steady it, which is outside the command of God who has given specific instructions on the care and transport of the ark.  God, in His wrath, strikes Uzza dead.  King David is afraid and instead of bringing the ark to the people as originally planned, the ark is dropped at the home of Obed-Edom, a Gittite.  Now, I know there are TONS of different theological opinions of why David was afraid and why Uzza was slain, but our pastor gave this interpretation, which spoke to me.

Our Pastor suggested that perhaps David’s motivation was not pure.  Of course there was a part of him that wanted to bring the ark of the covenant back to God’s people, but there was also a greater part that wanted to show off to everyone.  David was dressed in royal robes and splendor.  He’s organized a huge party.  He made a spectacle.  It was enough that perhaps God searched David’s heart and so it lacking in certain areas and things.  Our pastor continued to discuss that in all that we do our motivation must be pure.  Are we doing it for God’s glory or for our own.  Now, here’s where all of this spoke to me this morning.  
FatherWinter and I recently had a disagreement about Honeybee’s first birthday party.  I wanted to host a special themed first birthday party.  I’d scoured Pinterest.  I had the theme.  I even locked on the aid of a great friend of mine for assistance.  I was so excited for the plans that would be coming together soon.  FatherWinter disagreed and pretty much shot down a lot of my enthusiasm by reminding me that this was a party for a one year old who wouldn’t remember it.  It didn’t make sense to go all out, he said.  And I disagreed with fervor.  In fact, the whole discussion put me in a funk.  After this morning’s sermon, I realized that there were some underlying reasons for my planning this party and it had nothing to do with Honeybee.
I grew up not having big birthday parties.  My birthday was in the summer and I lived in the country, on a farm, with no car.  My birthdays consisted of an uncle and aunt coming to the house with their two children (my little cousins) and our having cake and icecream.  There was no real pomp and circumstance.  No games, though I always looked forward to the day with enthusiasm.  We sat down at a dining room table, they sang, and then the adults visited with my great-grandmother.  While I was always grateful for the day, I remember feeling left out and sad when I heard of my peers having parties at skating rinks and pizza parlors and other places that I was never invited.  They’d laugh and talk about how much fun was had by all in attendance and I’d be reminded that, once again, I wasn’t “cool” enough or liked enough to be included.  I’d always promised myself that my children would never have to experience that.  So, from ages 1-5, Superbug had amazing birthdays complete with themes and grandeur.  He loved it and each year I wanted to outdo myself the previous year.  After marrying FatherWinter, he suggested and I reluctantly agreed, to have milestone birthday parties and smaller family birthdays the other occurrences.  Now, here we were approaching the plans for Honeybee’s birthday and FatherWinter was shutting me down.
He’s right though.  While this wasn’t a motivation conversation, my motives were selfish.  I wanted to have this big event and do it bigger and better than what I had growing up.  I wanted also for someone to see if and perhaps ask if I could something similar for them and thus grow the business.

The point of the birthday party was supposed to be celebrating Honeybee’s first birthday.  I was making it into a  redo of my life when I was younger.  That wasn’t fair.

So, while I haven’t lost my idea of themes and Pinterest ideas, I have scaled down.  Honeybee won’t remember this day, but I’ll have fun showing pictures.  We’ll have pizza and wings and maybe a few surprises here and there.  But ultimately, it’s just going to be a day to thank God for her first year of life.  If nothing else happens that day but just that, then it will have still been a success.
I think in life we have to ask ourselves what our motivation is.  In every action, every conversation, every motive.  What is the reason we feel the way, act the way, think the way we do?  What is our motivation?  If it is anything but pure, anything that could possible  be outside the will of God in feeling and intent, then we must adjust our thoughts and ourselves.
Not a sermon, not preaching.  Just my musing for the day.
Have a good evening.

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  1. Thanks, Shawnell. Yes, we do!

  2. I really enjoyed reading that! We all have to examine our motives.

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