This past week we were starting a new study on Ecclesiastes. I have been reading this Old Testament book in my quiet time for a few months now. I just kept reading it over and over and soon I was excited by the idea of discussing it in our small group. I read 2 commentaries on the book and watched several videos of a study on it. So, I was well-prepared when I showed up to group with my Bible and commentary- both of which were on my Nook. The Nook is an e-reader that, in my opinion is the 2nd greatest invention after the internet (insert appropriate & over-used Al Gore joke here.). My Nook, and the 60+ books on it, is full of highlighted sections and my own personal notes and insights on every topic under the sun-- Notes on recipes in cook books, notes on tricks of the trade in homeschooling manuals, and yes, plenty of notes on Ecclesiastes.
You're dying to get your own Nook now, aren't you? I am getting no money from Barnes and Noble for the promotion of this product, I promise! It's just a fantastic tool!
...Except when it doesn't work...
At the start of our last small group, I realized that somehow all of my notes were gone! Completely wiped away! When I realized that I would be winging the whole evening of study, I realized how appropriate this moment was in light of what God's been teaching me lately:
"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10
I knew that the people sitting in a circle and watching me might be upset/bored/confused with the unstructured flow our night was about to follow. But God was the one I'd wanted to please. And He'd seen my hours of reading, research and work that had gone into the night.
Surely, the God of the universe who expects us to be holy creatures can't be easier to please than man! But there's freedom in knowing that when it comes to pleasing God, I've got a handbook to follow. And the final word of that book is that even if I'd delivered a 'home-run' of a study in small group that night, He wouldn't have loved me any more than He already does!