Thursday, January 19, 2012

What Pleases God?

One of the advantages of being a dad is having a built-in excuse for watching children’s programs. One of my favorites is “Thomas and Friends,” a show staring a group of talking locomotives. As I enjoy shows like this which teach good life lessons, I never expected anthropomorphic trains to leave me examining my approach to God’s will.

Thomas and Friends is based on a series of stories originally created by Rev. W. Awdry. Looking for a way to entertain his son who was sick with measles, Awdry made up a tale about a talking locomotive named Edward. Eventually he would publish the story as a children’s book. Its success would lead to more stories and more locomotives, including Thomas the most popular resident of the Island of Sodor. Thomas spends most of his time trying to be a really useful steam engine as he pulls his passenger coaches around Sodor. But when called upon by the owner of the railroad (Sir Topham Hat) to take his mother on a fun tour, Thomas makes a major mistake.

Instead of asking Mrs. Hat what she might enjoy, Thomas puts together a tour based on advice from one of his fellow locomotives. After two or three stops he finds Mrs. Hat has fallen asleep out of boredom. When she wakes she orders Thomas to take her home. Embarrassed Thomas does as she wishes going as fast as he can along a shortcut home. As he races down his tracks he hears Mrs. Hat laughing. A speedy ride across a wobbly bridge makes the tour a success as Mrs. Hat has a wonderful time. Seems she wanted adventure, something Thomas would have known had he asked.

I wonder sometimes if I am like Thomas in my relationship with God. How often do I pour myself into some religious activity, trying to drag God along as I do what I believe to be His will? I do what I think best or what well meaning Christians declare is right but am I doing what God will honestly enjoy? I think Thomas’ mistake with Mrs. Hat is a reminder to us all. God’s prayer lines are always open. We need to makes sure we ask the Lord what He will enjoy us doing. We also need to spend time in the Bible, letting God reveal that which will bring joy to his heart.

Have you asked God what will please Him or are you boring the Lord to sleep?

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