Maybe I’m the only one. I have A LOT on my plate…from work, to organizations…the list goes on. As I charge my batteries over the weekend, I sit in church on Sunday…awaiting to be spiritually fed…awaiting to be spiritually filled. When the church announcements scroll on the screen, there is never a lack of interest on my part–I mean, my pen has a FIELD DAY scribbling dates for the weekly Bible study, the Women’s Conference, the call for people to join various ministries…or whatever. This week, I AM going to make the time to do SOMETHING in the Lord’s house. If I can just get there once…
Monday morning rolls around…and TRUST me, my intent to attend the meeting for liturgical dance that evening is still there. As long as I come straight home after work, I can get there a little after 7pm. And before I can even close my front door, I feel a raindrop…and another. Coupled with the craziest gust of wind that reached deep to my bones, I rushed to the Metro, already shaking my head at what the day was going to bring.
And what a day! Several memos, a couple calls, and a conference later, I already had semi-forgotten about church; I say “semi-” because I didn’t really forget…I just had shifted its priority. I was thinking about my bed and my blanket and every time I did, I instantly remembered that I said I was going to go to church. Long story short, the church meeting did not make my “to do” list. I went straight home and got in my bed and wrapped myself in my blanket. Yup, I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel good to be out of the elements of the outside and to not have to talk to anyone. At least…until I got a call. I was on the phone all night! (Hmmm….yea, I’m sure you see a slight problem. But STOP JUDGING AND LET ME FINISH)!
The next day was Tuesday. The elements were the same as the day before…rain. And my mood was the same…funky. And the course of the day was the norm…busy. This night was bible study at church on a series that I had been waiting for (and truth be told that I needed), but as the workday ended, and I walked to the Metro, the same thoughts of playing “church-hookie” were creeping back in my head.
Except…I saw the man with the carpet.
In the middle of the day, as I was in the crosswalk, my gaze (and that of many onlookers) was on a taxi driver, who constructively was out of service. WHY? Because he had to pray. In the middle of his shift, he had pulled over, laid his carpet on the grass…in the rain…and bowed. Touched by what I witnessed, I kept walking and the lump in my throat made me quiver. I turned back to see his face. It wasn’t just a ritual. I am sure if he had skipped out on praying, no one would know. He could probably lie and say he prayed when in fact he didn’t. But his face tattled on his heart–nothing was going to come between him and what he made as an obligation. I simply reflected: Lord, is my desire that strong?
The beauty of Christianity (and contrary to many teachings), is that there is nothing more FREER than being a Christian. We serve a God, that by His design, He wants us to WANT him. He could have created us to be drones, programmed to do everything He says. But that is not how He wired us. We can choose what “things” are necessary to bring us closer to Him and give Him more glory. Sometimes, however, it is easy to lose sight of our job to give Him glory and instead focus on what entertains us and what gives us pleasure–even in the Church. Church then gets put on our “TO DO” list…and sometimes not even that high! Often, it is on the “MAYBE TO DO” list. And then we have the nerve to complain when the choir doesn’t sound the way we want it to…or when the girl on the side has no rhythm. Well what-chu doin’ about it? Church was not intended to be a spectator sport or even limited to Sunday. No, we are not going to get a handbook of Church activities that must be performed; performance does not equate genuineness. But we must stop waiting for the “event” to transform our lives, and instead start to transform our lives by committing Godly things (which is not limited to the four walls of the church). It just boggles my mind that when I want a promotion, I will spend a little “extra” time around the boss. Maybe some of our problems can be attributed to the fact that while we profess that we “are the head and not the tail” and await the promotion of God, we do not advance because we can’t even put Him at the head of our list! We want to be His priority while He watches us choose something else over Him!
Don’t mistaken this message! It is not about being “busy for busy’s” sake. But like my pastor says, it is REAL funny how spiritual saints get when it comes to matters of the church. Whether it is tithing, serving, or ministering, nine times out of 10, you will hear “Well I don’t know if that is where the spirit is leading me. Let me pray about it and I’ll get back to you.” REALLY SON? Like….really? If that’s the case, did you ask the spirit to guide you buy those shoes…or to go to the movies (or to select WHICH movie for that matter)…or to order ANOTHER glass of Moscoto. It is not about the OBJECTS of your DESIRE as much as it is about the DESIRE. If you desire to be entertained by Church, or waiting to get that “right” ministry, you may not be fully understanding what the intent of the Church is. Every believer should adopt the vocation of ministry. Whether we are paid or not, we are called to be active in the Church. “1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1). “23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24). The cost of having a job is going to work. The same is true with the kingdom…the cost of being linked to Christ is doing His work in whatever capacity we are able to. The challenge is disciplining yourself to align yourself with God. The first step to accomplishing this…is to just take the first step. And committing to those steps. We should not be comfortable with the habit of shifting God to the side…we would never want Him to treat us the same.
I ended up making it to Bible Study on Tuesday. It was amazing. Everything else on my blackberry can wait. It is permanently on my “Tuesday To Do” List.