Each week, it’s something a little different that does it. Sometimes, it’s dealing with a difficult person or two; sometimes it’s a few too many late nights and early mornings; sometimes it’s working too much; other times it’s being too bored and not working enough; sometimes it’s traveling; some times it’s big plans that make it hard to come back down to earth.
Regardless, there comes a point every week when I start to count down to Sunday. Now, don’t think too highly of me – I only wish that this were some deep, deep love for going to church that was purely for the pleasure of it and not for necessity. But indeed, as things stand, I look forward to Sunday because I need it – badly.
This week it was a long Wednesday followed by a somewhat uneventful Thursday and a far-too-philosophical Friday morning when I woke to go shopping on Black Friday and began to ponder how materialistic of a person I am. Then it was waking up on Saturday morning after a restless sleep because my throat was sore, my nose was congested, and all I wanted to do all night was spit into a cup and get it all out.
These things take my eye off the ball. I wish it weren’t true – I wish that my resolve were stronger, I wish that my mind was clearer in my purpose and I wish I didn’t second-guess myself. I wish I didn’t get tired, I wish I could focus more when I only have a half an hour in the morning to have quiet time instead of having the whole morning. I wish that I woke up every day with a song in my heart, that song sung at the same decibel level and with the same amount of conviction as the day before.
I wish every day was Sunday.
I love Sunday because Sunday is a gathering of God’s people to go see Him, worship Him, and hear from Him. When done right, church can be pretty accurately compared to a sporting event (or else this is just my experience at sporting events) – where it’s not necessarily about who you’re with (important) or how many times you’ve been there or how used to the event you are – you’re there to see the team play, and that’s the most important thing. We go to church to be with God – and that has to be our top reason.
And the God we serve is not a God who is too concerned with pointing out our mistakes from the past week – no, God is interested in establishing us. God is interested in helping us wrestle our flesh – square inch by square inch – into submission to Him; not because God is an obsessive egomaniac who needs everyone on His team, but because He designed the world to work a certain way and He designed people to behave a certain way and the way He designed it is the optimum way of living. a life in God’s kingdom is a life of deepest joy, satisfaction, honesty, trust, peace, love, truth, and so much else. God’s kingdom leaves us room for work, for play, for entertainment, for pleasure, for intellectualism, for inquiry and for rest.
It is for these reasons that I believe God makes us aware of our deepest inadequacies and weaknesses – it’s not because He wants us to feel bad about them or He wants to pound our heads with our own failures, but instead He wants to bring them to light. The sooner you and I recognize the things that distract us from seeing Him, from hearing His voice, and from obeying Him, the sooner we can present them to God and ask for His help and grace as the week goes on to move past them, to move through them, and to ultimately get to the true Reward – God Himself.