Chasing Contentment

Friday, June 10

Church has changed for me through the years. I remember being terribly uncomfortable with the youth group at the church in which I was reared. I remember finding a place where I was loved and accepted and nurtured in the church of my college years. I've been in my current church now for more than a decade, and the aspects of it that minister to me most change as my life changes.

I've always adored our sanctuary. I'll admit that the reason I first went to services there was because of the stunning stained glass windows. The initial reason I kept going back was because of the overwhelming sense of peace and calmness that I felt when I sat in those services.

At times, Sunday School has both ministered to me and left me feeling adrift, as if I'd wasted an hour of my day. The services are amazing, though, with a minister who never, ever gives a sermon in which he tells us how to think about something. But Mike and I routinely go home discussing those sermons, and we have often gone to the Bible on Sunday evenings to find more information about what our opinions are.

Mike is far more analytical than I am, and so I am sometimes left wishing for more emotional services, but I find that emotional nurturing in other areas, and so I am pleased for him to have his mind stimulated by God and Godly people in those services. While I admit to not always following just everything, I have always enjoy sitting and feeling the presence of God in those hours.

Now, however, we have a squirmy six-year-old (soon to be 7!) sitting between us, and it has changed the dynamic of services for me. Poor Mike's got the bad ear, and one of the 'big church' rules is that Griff not try to talk to Mike, as there's no way Mike will hear. So Griff and I do the most interacting during the services. If I thought that there were days when I didn't follow everything in the sermon before, wow! do I sometimes get lost now, what with all of the whispers of 'Mom, what time is it?' and 'Mom, i need a pencil,' and 'Mom, do you have any Liquid Ice?'

I must admit, when Griff asks if we can just go to Sunday School (which he loves and gets lots of good information from), I'm always tempted to say yes. But I know that it's good for him to sit amongst other believers and to hear the singing and the prayers (however long or difficult to sit through he thinks they are) and the sermons. It's good for him to see us all reading along in our Bibles and for him to begin reading along as well.

As for me, my prayer has become that when the snippets that I need to hear the most are said, God will shush Griff for long enough for me to hear them. I suppose, in a lot of life, that's my prayer... that God will still the noise and distractions around me long enough for my heart to hear what He has to say. My job, both in big church and in life, is to ready my heart to hear.

[  posted by Chel on Friday, June 10, 2005  ]


Post a Comment