Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Throne Room Etiquette

The words caught me by the scruff of the neck, stopping me in my tracks. I checked another Bible to make sure the sentence wasn’t an odd extra included just in this particular version. You know, one of those “not present in all ancient manuscripts” phrases.

Nope. It was real. Black on white. Knife to heart.

Ecclesiastes 8:3—“Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence.”

Having lived all my years in an American version of democracy, all I know about monarchies came through history books, novels, and movies. Even that limited knowledge is enough to recognize that if a person gains an audience with a king, it is no small thing.

Why would anyone be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence, unless an object of the king’s wrath or displeasure? If the trapdoor to the dungeon creaked underfoot, then I suppose one might feel the itch to leave the throne room.

But if summoned to the king’s hall for an honor, why would thoughts of making a quick excuse for a quick escape enter the picture?

And yet, they do.

My King calls me into His presence. And I glance as nonchalantly as possible at my wristwatch. I twitch with adrenaline, fired by the list of projects on my desk. I’m in the King’s presence…physically…but my mind is two rooms away, contemplating how I’ll get the blueberry stain out of Grandma’s borrowed tablecloth or wondering if it’s too early to call about getting the car serviced or even if I can put the King “on hold” long enough to brew a fresh pot of coffee.

“Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence.”

He may have further instructions…clues I need to negotiate my next dragon battle.

He may detain me for my safety. His knowledge of the dangers beyond the throne room doors is impeccable. The finest intel.

He may want to hold me in His presence until I finally relax enough to realize that His presence itself is the gift my soul seeks.

Efficiency in God’s presence is an oxymoron. Lingering is His goal. Is it mine?

Looking for ways to shortcut housework and prolong moments with Him,



eileen said...

Oh man oh man oh man. I need to get off the computer and spend time with the King. It's no accident I'm late reading this post! Once again, thank you.

Kristy Dykes said...

Oh, man, Cynthia. You give me soul food. Thankee kindly. Keep it up.