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A couple of months ago my awesome mother-in-law flew down to visit from North Carolina. My wife, Rachel, and I along with our new baby girl, Avonlea, got in the car to go pick her up at the airport. On the way, Rachel decided she wanted to surprise her mom by greeting her in the lobby of the terminal instead of waiting to see her in the “arrivals” car pick-up line. And not just that, she wanted to take our 3 month old baby in to the lobby as well.
Now, I could have responded with excitement and support of what Rachel wanted to do.
Unfortunately, I didn’t.
I said something like this: “I would have to drop you and Avonlea off at the arrivals area and then go park and wait. How far is the parking lot? Avonlea is sleeping. Do we really want to wake her up?
And what difference is it going to make? We are going to see her for several days. Can’t we just wait until she gets in the car? Why do you need to go to the lobby? That’s a lot on you and the baby.”
And then I said these three words
That’s not necessary.
Without missing a beat Rachel responded:
“Just because it isn’t necessary, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.”
Boom. I had the wind knocked out of me instantly. I was convicted. I felt really stupid. I had missed it completely.
Rachel was trying to do something for her mom that was more than expected. She wanted to show her how excited she was to see her. I was thinking about the inconvenience. How it would affect me.
It wasn’t necessary. The success of my mother-in-law’s visit didn’t depend on Rachel going into the lobby.
But that didn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.
One of the greatest examples of the unnecessary is God’s instructions to Israel in the construction of the ark in Exodus 25:10-21. The Ark was to hold the 10 Commandments. Some of the instructions were to use pure gold, a certain type of wood and precise measurements.
The unnecessary gets bumped up a notch in Exodus 25:11: “Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it.” Do you see that? Even the part that wouldn’t be seen, inside, underneath the cover was to be pure gold.
Isn’t that unnecessary? Couldn’t the people have just built a sturdy, wooden box to carry the 10 Commandments? And even the inside had gold? Come on. Isn’t that a bit much?
But what if the box that held the 10 Commandments mattered because even it represented God? What if God was just as concerned about the inside of the ark, which nobody saw, as he was about the outside that everyone saw?
The truth is, when it comes to honoring God and connecting with people there is no such category as “unnecessary.” But rather, just things that “seem” unnecessary.
Because only by doing what seems unnecessary…
the things that don’t make sense to most people,
that are different,
that seem extreme,
that focus on the details,
that examine your private and public life…
will you begin to fully honor God and connect with people.
It’s a life of excellence.
It’s what we were made for.
And it’s a life that deep down we all want to live.
How could you do something this week that seems unnecessary to most that would honor God or connect with people?
2 thoughts on “Why do the unnecessary?”
Excellent writing, excellent point. Keep up the good work!