Telescope and Microscope.
Quite often in leaders’ meetings or other discussions I find myself using, what appears to be, a completely inappropriate phrase, for a church minister.
When we are considering whether to follow a possible course of action or not, so often more information is needed to decided. The phase I reach for so often is:
‘The devil is in the detail!’
Admittedly, this may not be an obviously appropriate phrase for church minister, but I’ve often felt that a detailed approach can be good, honouring and godly. Far from the devil being in the detail, very often the detailed approach is the Lord’s.
The delightful discovery for me is that there is good evidence that the original phrase was:
‘God is in the detail!’
How we got from ‘God is in the detail’ to ‘the devil is in the detail’ I have no idea. Of course, the two phrases mean slightly different things. The latter waits for more information with the expectation that it might contain bad news and the former believes with greater information we can see God in greater ways and can even please God more.
For today, I simply want to celebrate that our God is in the detail.
Our God is findable through the telescope and the microscope.
In both we see hints of divine detail. The more we look at massive scale beyond the earth, or the tiniest detail within it, the closer we get to seeing the intelligent designer-God who we are invited to call Father.
Whatever our Frontline, God can also be in the detail of our service today– he is pleased when we offer our attention to detail to him. Some Christians in the 17th Century used the phrase:
“God loveth adverbs; and careth not how good, but how well.”
Adverbs add description to our verbs. They help describe not just what we do but how we do it and why. If God loves adverbs then God cares about the spirit in which we live, the attitude we have to him and others whilst we work and the quality beyond the quantity of the role we do for him each day.
That sounds like God being in the detail to me.