6 For I delight in faithfulness, not simply in sacrifice;
I delight in acknowledging God, not simply in whole burnt offerings.
I’ve been learning this in an unhappily repetitive way lately. It’s come in the form of eager children and eager adults. People tend to really like to please you or really get your approval when it comes to doing things that they enjoy.
The bummer is when we have to do something for others that we don’t really enjoy, we aren’t so eager to serve them!
Take me and my timecard at work, for instance. (I’m throwing myself under the bus here, because the more I think of other people teaching me this, I realize I need to see how I am doing this myself!) It’s easy for me to come up with all kinds of cool new ways of doing stuff, of innovating new processes and thinking about how we can improve our systems.
But I can’t fill out my timecard.
It’s simple! It’s easy! It’s something I need to do FAITHFULLY!
But day in and day out, it’s easier for me to sacrifice and do all kinds of things that are above and beyond the call of duty than it is to be faithful in the little things that my work needs me to do and just fill out my ^&%#@! timecard.
This is where Hosea was. The Jewish people went out of their way to improve their burnt offerings and their festivals and their sacrifices. They probably had banners that said, “Torah 2.0: Commitment, Caring, and Charisma” or some such thing.
But they sucked at the tiny tasks that required daily faithfulness.
It’s just not exciting to do the small and simple things.
It’s just not exciting to go after a mediocre calling of being close to God in secret.
It’s just not exciting to walk in simple obedience to God without having an amazing sacrifice to show for it.
The thing is, God loves ME more than any sacrifice I bring. He knows me inside and out, with my twisted motives, my lazy-butt motivations and my desire for attention and glamour. I might as well come clean and not try to impress Him with any fancy sacrifices but just do the simple & mediocre things He calls me to do.
Because God’s mediocrity is greater than man’s excitement.