Monday, March 12, 2012

Fair Weather Fans

Sunday was a triple-threat for church attendance here in our area:
  1. It was the first weekend of Spring Break, meaning that some people had taken off for places more exciting than home.
  2. It was also the day after the dreaded "lose an hour" of that big Daylight Savings conspiracy, meaning that babies and kids who usually get up at 7:00 were still sleeping soundly at what they thought was 6:00am, and parents and older kids who lost an hour of sleep were loathe to leave their cocoons to prepare for church.
  3. It was raining. I don't mean a few sprinkles. It was raining really hard about an hour before church started, when people would have been considering starting the ritual that would have their family ready for the car in time to be to Bible study at 9:30.
Any of these factors individually would have impacted attendance somewhat, but the combination of the three slashed it in half.

 Yes, we were there. We aren't fair-weather fans, and honestly, with the possible exception of a sleeping toddler (because who wants to mess with that??!!), I'm not sure I get it. I get the temptation, but for us church isn't optional. The practical reason behind this is that 3 of us had to be there: I was serving at the check-in kiosk, Amanda was helping with the preschool worship as she does every other week, and Terry was teaching 6th grade boys.

But the truth is that we don't see church as optional. You don't let losing an hour of sleep or a rainstorm keep you from work or school or even a birthday party, right? So to honor the God who created me and loves me and redeemed my life by tackling a few practical obstacles head on doesn't seem like too much to ask. I saw this picture on Facebook this morning that pretty much sums it up:

Stepping off my soapbox to continue the story --

 Fortunately, as the majority of people arrived between 9:00 and 9:30, it was clear. However, as the sermon began, God thundered His way in. It was obvious that outside the rain was coming down with a vengeance. I'm sure that we were all praying that it would pass by the time we left around noon.

It did, and we were thankful -- and I was just has pleased that the whole situation gave me a glimpse into Kyle's spiritual life. I commented as we were leaving that we had actually lost sound, and he told me that they had too (though we had emergency back-up power, so the lights never went out).

 "I'm glad it stopped raining," I said (Because these Texas-sized rainstorms power through raincoats and umbrellas and cars pulling up to the curb. You just end up wet.).

"Me, too," Kyle agreed. "That's what I prayed."

A 7 1/2 year-old boy who believes God is in control; a 13-year old daughter who is spending her Spring Break serving some kids in a low-income area of Arlington by putting on a Vacation Bible School?  Indeed, any sacrifice we've made to know Him and serve Him has been worth it:

"The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3


On a semi-related note, I just received Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus at the strong recommendation of my friend, where I'm sure he shares similar rants.

When I ordered it, I noticed that there's a teen edition coming out in April that I think I might get for Amanda, assuming that I like what Kyle Idleman has to say.

 Have you read it?


Carrie said...

Amen to that! (And no, I haven't read Not a Fan but I'm now very curious about it!)

Martha said...

I am with you. Even though we go early and have to deal with an irate teenager each week, it is not an option to miss church. Thanks for a great post. I can't wait to hear about the book.