For the past week, my time has been devoted to doing pretty much exactly what I have intended and have desired to do. I have spent time on my own and time with my gang and time with my Man. I have spent time each and every morning in my Bible and in deep thought about my spiritual condition and about life in general.
...as today [Saturday] wore on, I began to think of reason after reason why it might be okay for our family not to attend church tomorrow. I have no other obligations or even penciled-in plans awaiting my attentions, I just don't really feel like making the effort, it's just one Sunday right? So, my mind is working overtime on reasons not to go. Please understand that every one of my reasons if spoken aloud would make the faithful-every-week church goer and their pastor's wife roll their eyes and possibly belly laugh.
Please also understand that this realization serves as a lesson to me.
On my last Sunday with our church family before going on sabbatical, one of our members confided to me that they were planning a bit of a sabbatical of their own.
"Really?" I said, "where will you be going? What will you be doing?"
"Oh, I'm not going anywhere, I just want to read the paper and drink my coffee for a few Sunday mornings."
You can imagine how this blessed my socks right off.
"Can't you do that on Saturday morning?" I asked, smiling, sort of, "Then you can come on Sunday mornings and support the men who will be preaching here?"
"Well, there is just something extra special about Sunday mornings with the paper and coffee."
"I wonder," said I, "just why it seems extra special particularly on Sunday mornings?"
I couldn't believe I was having this conversation. I know there are plenty of folks who might be tempted to do the same thing, planning to do the same thing even, but I was just a bit perplexed by the one who decided to share their plan with me out loud.
Eventually I forgot about the whole incident until, after surviving a particularly harrowing grocery store visit this afternoon, I looked over stacks of grocery bags at my Man and said, "I have a whole new appreciation for faithful church folks who show up no matter what. I have learned today how easy it could be to just not go, just not show up, just stay in my pjs and drink my coffee and read my books about being a Christian and living within a community of believers..."
...I was now the person on the other side of the conversation, wasn't I?
"I know," he said, "it would be so so easy."
This evening I sat across the table from my Man as he did what so many folks do when they are in a new town, he searched online for a church for us to attend in the morning. Molly grew tired of waiting for her daddy's attention, she had plans for him this evening, and said, "Dad, I think you can just do this church thing on your own for us tomorrow, OK? Now come on, let's get going." She was not the first to make such a suggestion.
It was explained to her that yes, we could easily "have church" and do a good job of it on our own tomorrow but...we would worship best within a church body where worship is so sweet and where there is fellowship with other believers, and where we can be ministered to as we sit under the preaching of the Word.
In the morning, Lord willing, the Wright gang will "get going" as well. We'll fill a pew in a church somewhere because there's a God we need to praise and a man who has spent the greater part of his week working on a message, and not just any message, but a message of great import about a Savior who sacrificed all for me!
Who in the world am I to decide that I'd rather have coffee?
Need more convincing? Click play below and turn your volume way up...
"YOU stand alone, I stand amazed..."