Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sick Sundays

How do you handle those Sundays when you have to stay home from church?
Do you complain?
Do you rejoice?
How do you train your children to think about "sick Sundays"?

Today was a "Sick Sunday" for me.
Except I wasn't sick.
And my kids were sick enough to be kept away from others but not sick enough to be kept in bed. That means they had energy and with that came the temptation to think that they could stay home and play. Sometimes, I inwardly rejoice that I "have" to stay home because then I can rest or work on "stuff". But I fight it with the knowledge that it is still Sunday and a day that our family has set aside to worship the Lord in ways that we don't have time for during the week. So, knowing that we all did need rest, but wanting to also feed ourselves spiritually in ways that we don't on other days, we made our plan for the morning.

After we sent off Earl and Emily and David, we turned on the TV to see if there were any "approved" pastors on.
We found one.
So while Jonathan and I ate breakfast (he had just gotten up), we listened to a sermon on Ephesians 5:15-16 . . . "Take care how you walk . . .".
We were challenged to be alert to the opportunities that filled our days.
We are to be alert to
the opportunity to give (John 6:1-14),
the opportunity to serve (Matthew 4:18-22),
the opportunity to learn (Luke 10:38-42),
the opportunity to help others (Luke 5:18-20),
the opportunity to witness (Paul in Athens),
the opportunity to understand who Jesus is (Luke 19:2-4),
and the opportunity to be saved (Mark 10:17).

When it was over, I did let them play a little bit while I cleaned up the kitchen and planned my next move.
"Father, how do we walk out what we've heard? How do we work towards bearing fruit from these seeds of truth that we've heard today? How do we apply this? What do we do with the remaining time this morning?"
About 11 am, I called them all out to the front room and we read through our church's prayer list. Each of us picked one person to write an encouraging note to, as a means of trying to make the most of the opportunity we had this morning to help others, give of our time and energy, and to serve someone else.
Then, while we worked on our cards, we listened to a children's program (which actually ended up to be very moral but had no scriptural reference or spiritual foundation at all).

After lunch, we had an hour of rest.
Now they are up playing quietly, waiting for the others to come home.

"Sick Sundays" can last forever, and the day seems so long, when I'm not allowed to do what my flesh wants to do. But I'm thankful for the vision God granted. And I'm thankful for the many years of building up habits which help me to ward off the temptation to waste the opportunity of "adding to my faith".
Besides, I now have young ones watching me and learning from me. They will take these "attitudes" and "habits" into their own homes in some form or fashion (either following some form of them or abandoning them completely).

Although I would have much preferred to hear my husband preach this morning, I was grateful for what was gleaned anyway (though I didn't agree with everything the pastor said, I did come away with some things I need to think on and pray through for sure).

So, my encouragement to myself and to you . . .
let us pray for much grace
when we can't gather with the Body for one reason or another,
to make the most of the morning,
by giving our time to the Lord,
dying to self,
and seeking to nourish our souls by feasting on His Word
and seeking to apply it in our lives.

May we continue to bear much fruit
for His glory!

1 comment:

Barbara said...

You were missed, but it sounds like you were blessed to redeem the day and worship where you were "planted." Hope everyone is better soon.

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