If you don’t do the church thing, you may not know this, but a lot of churches have a midweek service [usually Wednesdays]. My church does, and we usually go. The theory behind a midweek service is that you recharge your spiritual batteries, which is brilliant. In theory. The reality for me, is that I get to see people that I care about, which is good. As for the battery thing, well, I tend to do better with that alone.
Sundays are supposed to be a day of rest. It is supposed to be a time when we focus on our relationship with God. I do learn things at church [sometimes they’re even things about God!]
My Sunday School class is awesome. We’re reading “Waking the Dead,” by John Eldridge, which is an excellent read, and we have an exceptional teacher who is passionate about the class and loves to teach, so it’s a good place to be. I do my best to make it every week because I want to, not because I have to.
Our Sunday worship service is pretty traditional, in that we sing songs, sit in pews, and listen to a sermon. The worship service is kinda hit or miss with me. There are days when I can feel God’s presence from the moment I enter the Sanctuary. It’s like He and I are having a conversation that may or may not have anything to do with what’s going on with the songs or sermon.
Then there are other days when I can’t concentrate on anything during the service. I’m thinking about lunch and the rings of Saturn and will I be lucky enough to get the kids to take a nap because I’m so freaking tired from getting up early and rushing around like a madwoman to get every one up and ready for church and why is it that we never get to church on time and blah blah blah… on and on until we’re dismissed. On those days, I couldn’t tell you a word of the sermon or what it was about.
But, I’ve come to realize that I’m more of an interactive person, and it’s a lot easier for me to pay attention when there is an active discussion going on, [or when I might get called on to read or answer a question.] I do better in small group discussion type settings.
Which is why I go to Sunday night Bible study. Good friends, good discussion, the presence of God all mixed up together [with snacks!] man, that’s the stuff of heaven!
It’s also exhausting. Sunday as a day of rest. Yeah right. And Wednesday as a battery recharge just doesn’t happen for me. Wednesday nights are exhausting, too. Which is why I’m talking in circles, here. I can’t think straight!
Some people are energized by crowds, I am drained by them. The louder the crowd, the more I shut down afterward. Tonight was ridiculously loud and crowded.
I knew it would be, so I meditated for a few minutes before we left. And that’s the thing. My relationship with God tends to grow more when I have quiet moments alone than when I’m in a group.
Sometimes, I will come away from church and realize that there are a few areas in my life that are less than perfect that I need to work on [it’s not that I only have a few things I need to work on, it’s that God is a merciful God and doesn’t want to overwhelm me!]
But sometimes, I’m just tired, and I miss God completely and have to come home to the peace to find Him.
The kids are in bed, hubby is playing video games, and I am blogging. I worked on my novel for about fifteen minutes earlier today. I was excited about a scene I was going to write. It didn’t end up getting written today; too much going on in the real world.
Now I sit, drinking Tension Tamer Tea, and thinking of a long hot shower to wash the evening away. I’ll meditate, and if I’m lying down when I do it, I’ll last about ten minutes before I fall asleep.
The day was long and hard, and in spots, felt like an exercise in futility. But, at the end of it, I am alive and healthy, I have a warm bed to sleep in, and my husband and children are safe. It didn’t go like I wanted it to, but God was with me.
Here at home, in the quiet, I feel His peace at last, and I am content.