Yesterday I woke up feeling kind of blah. I’m not sure if that’s a word, but that’s how I felt. I was tired and emotionally drained. Truth be told, I didn’t really feel like going to church. I felt like crawling back into bed.
It didn’t help when both of our kids declared they didn’t want to go. (Turns out my teenager isn’t feeling well, might should’ve left her home.) My little one actually pitched a fit, which is extremely rare these days. But I told him “We’re going. It’s what we do.”
For a moment I questioned whether or not that was the best thing to say. I mean shouldn’t we want to go to church? And then I realized, yes, we should. And we usually do. But sometimes you just have to do something because “that’s what we do”. You do it because it’s what’s best for you, it’s what God wants from you and for you, and it’s the right thing to do.
We eat the vegetables.
We do the homework.
We clean the house.
We run the mile.
We swallow our pride.
We respect each other.
We live within a budget.
We guard our hearts.
We take the back seat.
We offer kind words.
We go to church even when we’re weary, because it’s what we do.
And God blesses that.
As it turns out, I was abundantly blessed by going to church yesterday. When will I remember to put some tissues in my purse?
Two young people gave their lives to Christ in baptism. How could you ask for a better morning than that?
But it didn’t stop there. Of course the singing was fantastic. (Have you ever heard 1,000 people–just voices, no instruments– singing praises to God? It’s pretty amazing.) On top of that, God took a message that was delivered to a large crowd, and used it to speak to my heart; to open it to new ideas, big dreams, and right priorities.
As I sat in church I didn’t feel chastised by God for not really wanting to go. Instead, what I felt was a flood of unmerited favor…grace.
Something I thought I didn’t want to do turned out to be a beautiful gift.
God didn’t deal with me fairly that day.
Fairness would have been to reward my half-hearted willingness to drag myself to church, with a mediocre church experience. Instead, He met my resolve to go, with a glimpse of His beauty, a fresh perspective on some things I’ve been praying about, a chance to watch two people be reborn, and a time to forget about all of life’s little worries and just lift my voice in praise. To declare “We will have no other god before you.”
I don’t know about you but I need to sing those words in public. I need to be reminded that I have to constantly decide who/what is going to be my god. If I don’t proactively choose God, it will be something else by default. Declaring my loyalty to God in public is a gift to me, it nurtures my heart, and I’m honored and humbled to offer it back as a gift to Him.
I didn’t want to go to church but I’m glad I went. I think I learned that “We’re going because it’s what we do” is sometimes the shortest distance between “blah” and “blessed”.
By the way, in case you’re wondering, my little one had a wonderful time.
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