thoughts on sundays
I was a little grumpy and that is the sort of thing that happens when the baby wakes up multiple times in the night because she had a fantastic day at the beach and is just too worn out. I loved her wispy hairs plastered to her forehead as she dozed in the stroller that day and I loved her GG patting her little chubby legs. And I love that she didn’t want dinner, she just wanted a bottle and to put her to bed right now, thankyouverymuch. She slept hard. Her daddy put her down and she slept at 6:30 and then he and I lounged in the living room and read books. The decaf coffees grew cold and the light dimmed and we paused occasionally to read to each other. But then comes morning and the bathroom is hot with the morning light and the dishwasher is running and the little beastie is “taking a nap”. By which, of course, I mean that she is lying in her crib in her dark room and shouting All The Things she knows how to say, which include actual words (no, berry, pig – all in baby talk) and also a mysterious language that seems to be quite meaningful to her. She will shout for ten to fifteen minutes and I will worry that she won’t sleep until it’s time to get her up for church.
We have our coffee and our buckwheat waffles with fruit and we debate how much time we really have to get ready (which is always in flux, with a little one). But so very rarely do we sit and be still and contemplate what the day is for and consider the gathering we’re about to attend and still our hearts before our God. We have a “call to worship” in our tradition and it’s usually a song or a Scripture and I know the original intent, most likely, was to actually call to the hearts of congregants as they entered the service…remember why you are here? Remember why you came? Here is it: the Lord, strong and mighty. The King of glory. Lift up your heads, lift up your hearts – the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace. Come, now is when we worship. Settle your heart, steady your busy thoughts before Him – bow low. Lower still. Come to worship.
This is the part I fail to do, over and over again. I’ve gone to a church service virtually every Sunday since my birth. But I’ve likely spent 99% of those Sunday mornings getting ready externally. I pick my outfit and my shoes and if it doesn’t make me feel good about my body, I change a couple times. I get my hair puffed up and cover the circles under my eyes and wonder where my Bible is and make sure I have a pen in my bag. Now, of course, the getting ready includes having diapers and wipes and making sure there’s an extra change of clothes, justincase, and does the baby need a snack? How much did she eat at breakfast? Did you see her eat? I only remember picking up six blueberries off the floor and part of a waffle she threw.
And then we hastily run through the list one more time and cram ourselves in the car, usually with at least one bickering conversation, and arrive at church, a little frazzled and a little sweaty and a whole lot distracted and a not a bit feeling called to worship.
But it’s Sunday, the day of rest and now is the time to worship. Not in the sense that other times are not times to worship. But in our tradition and understanding of the Scriptures, this day is set apart for it. And I spent most of my preparation time on me.
How about if next time, we change the routine to allow for some grace and some patience with each other and the baby? How about if we put on some music that creates a peaceful space in our home and a sense of calm as we ready our outsides to attend a service designed to ready our insides to worship? If we are going to raise kids who know what the worship is about and who willingly attend a Christian gathering and who love and serve Jesus the Messiah…surely it starts in our homes. Surely it starts with our little family rhythms and in our living room. Surely it starts with our pitiful, tired, weary parent-hearts on a Sunday morning, when the bathroom is hot with morning light and there are bits of waffle on the floor.