It’s when you don’t want to go that you really should go
When I was younger my mom and dad had us go to church every Sunday and Wednesday nights was a mid week church for kids of all ages. My dad worked a lot and usually had only weekends off so a lot of times it was my mom taking us to church. For the most part we were ok with it but when my siblings and I got a little bit older we started to question why it was we had to go all the time but dad didn’t. I don’t remember if there really ever was a good answer to the question of why dad didn’t go but I do remember dad telling us on numerous occasions “It’s when you don’t want to go that you really should go” and oddly enough he was right about it every time. Dad did start going with us more and more the older we got and even started helping in the church nursery. In some ways it was like he was making up for times when he couldn’t be with us at church when we were younger. The thing about my dad is he is a very hard worker, he loves his family and he loves the Lord. I didn’t always understand his ways, but I know a lot of the way he and mom brought us up makes me who I am today and I am grateful.
Yesterday though was one of those days where we had good intentions for a great day of getting stuff done around the house, playing games with each other as a family and trying to get our new puppy to like the leash. Saturday night we decided to go to the 8:30 service so that we could have the rest of the day to get other stuff done. As morning approached our special dog Jorj had a seizure. This is not new to us and usually he has one and is done. The problem with yesterday morning was that his seizure was at 4:30am and the new puppy Charlie was no longer sleeping peacefully. So after getting Jorj settled down and ready to go back to sleep we had to place Miss Charlie back in her kennel which meant she had to sleep again which was not in her plans. We shut down the lights, made sure the animals all went outside to potty, said our goodnights and proceeded to listen to Charlie scratch and whine for a little while before she realized we were not budging. Sleep came, but so did the alarm to give Jorj his after seizure medications. By the time we were all awake to think about church it was something we were highly debating on doing. Then my dad’s saying came to mind and with that we jumped into the car and got to the church on time.
The sermon wasn’t super special but it was powerful. How often do we allow what goes on around us to dictate how we act and respond. When we feel persecuted for who we are or how we act, sometimes we find that it is easier to conform to the world around us than it is to stand up and stand out. At one of my jobs I had many, many years ago, I worked with a group of people who loved to talk and a make fun of people as they passed by our shop. In the beginning it was so easy to join in with them because I really wanted to fit in but over time I started to see that it didn’t matter if I fit in or not, it just wasn’t right what they were doing and I didn’t want to be a part of it anymore, so I stopped. I still had to work with these guys and gals but I didn’t have to participate in what they were doing, so when they would start I would walk away and start working in another part of the shop. Eventually they started to notice that I didn’t do or say what they were doing and saying and a friend of mine asked me why and I just said I didn’t want to. I started to get noticed in a different way, and that was ok with me.
A song that was sung today talked about honoring and serving Jesus in EVERY situation and I found I couldn’t truthfully sing those words, because I don’t do what they say in EVERY situation I am in. I am a Christian but I am not surrounded by Christians. I work with people who have different beliefs than me, and that is ok, but I also work with people who think that all Christians are hypocrites and that is hard to handle. So sometimes I find it easier to “do as they do, or talk as they talk” and that isn’t very honoring to Jesus. Luckily I am not perfect, and I am trying to honor and serve in EVERY situation. Even better is that Love covers all and since Christ is Love I can know that I am not in control and neither are you. All too often we are so hard on ourselves and we give up. We don’t realize that there is grace involved as well as love. We will make mistakes, we will have days were we have to say “I will still go” even when we really don’t want to go, and we will find that was the day we really needed to go. Excuses can be made all the time, but when we decide to get past those excuses and live the life Christ calls us to live, we will find joy and we will start Living Joyfully. Until next time:
Joyfully go out each and every day and you will find happiness will follow.