Welcome Mats

I’ve crossed many a doorstep over the years and in so doing have laid my eyes on, and heard of, a number of interesting and amusing welcome mats – to wit: “The Neighbors Have Better Stuff”; “Welcome/Goodbye”; “We Already Have A Personal Relationship With Jesus”; “Hi! My Name Is Mat!”; “Trap Door!”; “I Love My Vacuum Cleaner & I Gave At The Office!”; “Hello From The Other Side”; “Please Deposit Your Literature In The Nearby Recycling Bin”; one with an image of Yoda that says, “Welcome You Are”; and another with just an image of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre guy. Nice.

Why not? A few passive-aggressive tendencies adorning the front of our homes is innocent enough. And for many, it doesn’t end with a doormat. Above the entrance of our home we’ve a wee sign that we picked up in Ireland that says: Céad Mile Fáilte ( A Hundred Thousand Welcomes). We also have an American Flag and a Celtic Cross. A salesman or a missionary can form a fractional profile of what awaits them should we choose  to answer the door. I consider it a sacred right notto answer my door if I’m not in the mood, fully clothed or happen to be writing devotionals!

There is a point to all of this. At one time in the storied history of Israel God gave some great advice through his servant Moses in respect to front doors and such. Here’s what was said: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. ~Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Why all of this? The Lord was giving some very practical ways by which to train the mind. We are what we think. Having a small memento on the doorframes and gates reminded the Israelites that they were to take the name of the Lord into the world and to remember to bring him back once they got home. If we roll over and steward our thoughts towards chaos, angst and anger there is high degree of probability that’s what we’ll radiate to all those around us. But if we think God thoughts we’ll give the world what it needs – a blessing.