No matter what state you reside in, the DMV is never an inviting atmosphere. If you found out you only had one year to live, a nanosecond spent at the DMV is an egregious use of time.

I went to the California DMV yesterday to register our vehicles. I was informed that the amount I am required to pay to register and license my truck is based upon the truck’s weight.

I began explaining to the DMV employee, “My truck is very sensitive about her weight. In fact, it would make her very happy if you’d just guess a low weight and assign that to her paperwork. I mean, really now, doesn’t everyone lie about their weight at the DMV?” I punctuated my request by stating, “For the record, my truck isn’t overweight; she’s just ‘big framed.’’’

Although slightly amused, the DMV-er still insisted that I take my truck to a nearby steel company that had the capability of weighing a vehicle that size.

That size?” Thankfully my truck was not within earshot.

So today I did what I had to do: I took my truck to Sims Steel where I rolled her onto a huge scale and had her weighed. (It’s an extremely personal subject, but if you must know: 3,600 pounds.) She was a little low on oil, and nearly out of gas, so I figured it was a good time to weigh; sorta like she had been on a crash diet to drop a few, last-minute pounds.

Like I was saying, the DMV can be an uncomfortable way to spend an afternoon, not just for you but also your vehicle.

I started my day today by reading and reflecting on I Kings 8. Solomon has completed the building of the temple and now it is “move in” day. The ark of the covenant is carried into the inner sanctuary, thus fulfilling the promise God made (that promise being that David’s son would do what was on David’s heart: to build a house where God’s Presence would dwell).

As Solomon prays and recounts the faithfulness of God, Solomon’s prayer culminates in this declaration:

“I have provided a place for the ark.”

Solomon provided a place for God’s Presence to dwell, a place for people to come and worship and sacrifice.

I believe this declaration sums up my calling – to provide places for God’s Presence to be found and honored and worshipped. Inviting places and welcoming environments where God’s Presence rests.

Really it’s a call God has given to every one of us as Christians. I pray that we would be used to establish homes where small groups of people will gather and be transformed in His Presence. I pray that we would be used to guide individuals to places and to environments where they can encounter God’s Presence. I pray that we awaken people to those ongoing moments in the everyday-ness of their lives where God’s Presence can be found.

I pray that my church is the antithesis of the DMV. If you found out that you have only one year left to live, a nanosecond outside a conscious awareness of God’s Presence is an egregious use of your time.