“Make a joyful noise to the Lord,
all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, his is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.”
~Psalm 100 ESV
I don’t know about you and your family, but Sunday morning is almost the exclusive time for me and Chris, my husband, to consistently grow irritated with one another. Because I am a stay-at-home mom who home-schools three little boys, and because Chris works nights, Sunday mornings are typically our only high-pressure, get-out-the-door-on-time, load-’em-up-and-ship-’em-out, go-go-go mornings of the week. 🙂
Let me give you a little background information. The family I grew up in was ALWAYS on time. In fact, we were usually early to everything. We were always early because some of my extended family members were notoriously (2-3 hours!) late and for a long time it threatened to ruin large family gatherings. I’m not sure how exactly it rooted itself in my brain, but being on time became an idol through which I garnered worth as a human being. If I were on time to things it somehow equated being worthy. And if I were not (or someone else was not), well, somehow that denoted worthlessness. (Don’t worry, I’ve worked past this judgemental tendency. I’ve learned that grace is THE better path!)
I guess my point in telling you this is two-fold. One, I am no more loved when I am on time to church (or anywhere for that matter) than if I am late. And the opposite is true too. God does not love me less when I fail at punctuality. In fact, what I do, don’t do, forget to do, has absolutely no bearing on how God loves me at all. It’s hard for my little, human brain to comprehend but God loves me completely, totally, always, and forever. Period. And that love never wavers or depends on my performance, attitude, position, or current circumstance. (Now that is something worth singing about!!)
Secondly, so many high-pressure Sunday mornings I am choosing to sacrifice my overall relational health with my husband and boys on the “alter” of being on time so that I can prove to myself I’m worthy of what I already am. And don’t let it slip your notice that I do this all to get to CHURCH on time. Seriously? I sometimes have to think that Jesus is up there watching, shaking His head, and knowing that someday I’ll get it–it’s not about what I can do, it’s completely about WHAT HE’S ALREADY DONE!
God wants my heart. He wants my soul. He wants mind and emotions. He wants me to be focused on Him when I’m preparing to enter His courts. He wants my lips to be filled with praise and adoration for Him and what He’s done and what He’s continuing to do. I need less of me and more of Him.
Dear Lord, please help us to overcome our continual self-focused way of being. Please help us to focus our eyes on You, Your ways, Your path, the work You have for us to do. Please help us to understand how to come into Your courts with singing, praises, and thanksgiving for all that You have done on our behalf. We love you Lord! Amen