"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, September 06, 2009

It was all Marley's fault

I really did not want to go to church this week, but try as I might I just could not come up with a believable excuse. To start off, I guess several late nights had put me in a sleep deficit because it was just far too difficult to get up and my eyes just refused to stay open. Even as my body began to function, my mind was still in slumber mode and craved just a few more hours. Plus, I made the mistake of putting in the final CD of the “Marley and Me” audiobook. Even though I knew how the book ended, it was very sad to hear it on my way to Conyers, especially as it brought back memories of my pet, Murphy. By the time I pulled in the parking lot at 8:00 a.m., the tears were still flowing and I just wanted to go somewhere and curl up for awhile…not go in and hit the keyboard in performance mode. I guess it was just one of those days that I would have rather not been bothered with the church thing and felt it more appealing to be at the lake, in the mountains, at the beach, or just sitting on the back deck at home.

In the first service, just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The lights were dimmer than usual so I could not see the music well which created quite a few bizarre notes. Microphones were acting up, computers were on the fritz, musical rhythms were off, and on and on. As the service ended, I was hoping for the best in the next service, until…I clicked the organ on and…no sounds came forth. Lights were on, cables were connected, but no sound. Sheesh, It was one of those days when everything seemed destined to say, “Jimmy, you should have just stayed at home today.”

As I sat during the sermon time and listened to the pastor speaking about healing of hearts, minds, bodies, my heart began to listen and realize it wasn’t anyone’s fault but mine that I was in this attitude. I could not blame anyone else for my not getting enough sleep for several nights. It surely wasn’t Marley’s fault…he’s a dog…and on a CD in my car. I couldn’t blame the lights, computers, microphones, or even the organ. My heart and my attitude needed the healing and once I realized it and opened my heart to God, the healing began and I was finally glad to be at church with my church family.

What keeps you from the enjoyment of going to church? Too early? Your kids complained what you wanted them to wear? You sat on spilled Froot Loops at the kitchen table and had to change clothes at the last minute? You have an afternoon of ballgames, tennis, and golf to watch? You worked all week long, spent Saturday doing yard work, and feel like you really deserve a day on the boat?

You know, the most remarkable thing is that despite all the excuses we can come up with to miss this once a week time with God, He is faithful to stay with us. The Scriptures tell us that He delights in our presence, yet we try to come up with any reason to avoid a couple hours of worship and communion. Why is this? Why do we begrudge a few hours a week when God has given us all we have and provided a path for eternal reward out of His love for us? All He asks is that we love Him and tell others. Let’s work on that this week, okay?

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.