Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Some weeks when I go to church, something connects with my heart and my mind and I feel fully integrated into the service and the experience. In that place and in that moment I feel like I belong, that I am where I am supposed to be. However, other weeks the people annoy me, the music falls flat, and I can't focus on a single word that the preacher says. At the end of the hour I just want to get out of there and go home. However, truth be told, some weeks are even darker than this ...

Recently, I attended service where my pastor and the music director were both out of town. Knowing this as I drove to church that night, my mindset shifted into a decidedly negative perspective. Instead of recognizing what was going on, I think I turned up the flame under that simmering cauldron until it came to a full boil. When I got out of the car I was already cursing the perky door greeters who would shortly barrage me with their plastic smiles. When I walked into the sanctuary and saw the replacement singer, I decided that I didn't like the look of him. I just knew that I was going to hate him. When the service started and I looked around the room at the hundred or so folks present, I did know a single one of them. I thought to myself, if every last person in this room just disappeared, never to return again, my life wouldn't miss a beat.

In that service I got so frustrated with myself and the clamor of vindictive negativity swirling through my head, that I knew that I was not honoring God with my presence or my attitude. I ended up just leaving even before the music set had been completed. When I got out to my car, through tears I tried to find some calm and some peace. I wanted to beat myself up, but I felt an overwhelming presence of the Spirit telling me to reset and try again next week. That is just what I did.