“…There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 12:8b, NIV)
Abram didn’t built altars everywhere he went. It seems he skipped those places, like Egypt, where he shouldn’t have been in the first place (12:10ff). That would make perfect sense. But in all the places that the Lord took him, the patriarch’s first order of business was to build an altar. There at the altar he praised God and offered himself and that place to the Lord.
I got to thinking about all the places I go. Do I build an altar when I arrived in the office? Do I build an altar when I enter the grocery store? Is there a dentist’s altar, or a bank altar, or a library altar?
Of course I’m not talking about the physical pile of stones that Abram would have constructed, but do all the places I go become places of praise and commitment?
Can I sit in the hairdresser’s chair and thank God for that place and commit it, the experience, the hairdresser, and myself to God? Can something so mundane become a holy place?
It’s easier to build an altar when I enter the church than it is to build one when I walk through the door of the dentist’s office. But is a church any more of a place to sanctify than that dentist’s office? A hospital bed might be a hard place from which to build an altar, or a funeral home. But are they any less worthy of becoming holy places if God has brought us there?
Abram recognized that God had brought him to each of these places where he built his altars; that each one was a blessing, and that in each place he was meant to be blessing.My prayer is that every place He takes me be a place where I can build an altar.