FYI: Pity Parties and Praises Don’t Go Together
There are times (for everyone!) when you’re just tired of the way things are going in your life. Those are the times when, whatever the tipping point or reason, you are just ready to throw in the towel and walk away for a break. It doesn’t have to be a long one and it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re ready to walk away permanently, but you just NEED A BREAK from the problem, circumstance, people or attitudes (maybe even YOUR own attitudes!) in your life. You may not even know WHY you need the break…you just know that you do. So what then?
Well, I’m not an expert on your life, but I’m gradually gaining some experience with my own (ha!), so I’ve found that if I can just change the environment a little, it will help. I know this because I had it happen just this morning.
I love my life. I love the people in it and I’m very aware of how blessed I am to have the life I have…and yet…this morning, I was ready for some major venting. I was pitiful and it wasn’t really pretty. Fortunately, I managed to keep it all between me and God (well, until now, of course!) and I got myself ready to go to church this morning because I knew I needed to be there.
Oh, I wanted to be there, too, of course! Due to circumstances beyond my control, it’s been several weeks since we were able to be there for Sunday School and Worship time and I’ve missed it something fierce. I’m well aware that God is always with me and that His Word is never far from my fingertips or my ability to see it on a screen, but there is something life-altering about being involved in corporate worship with others who need it just as badly as you do.
My problem (well, one of them, anyway!) was that I wanted to do corporate worship all by myself. Yes, I know. It isn’t possible. That didn’t matter to me at all. I still wanted what I wanted. I wanted the life and vitality of corporate worship while I sat in a bubble and soaked it in and participated without having to consider what anyone else thought or wondered or wanted or needed for a little while or be intruded upon or…or…or…(you’re seeing the trend here, too, right?) It was all about me…and worship isn’t that at all.
ANYWAY! I took me and my pitiful attitude to church this morning and then God showed up and reminded me that it wasn’t about me at all by having my pastor preach on…the poor. Yes. Score one for God and Pastor Chris. If ever there was a sermon I needed to hear this morning, it was this one. I needed the reminder to look outside myself. I needed that reminder that there are people who live with a whole lot less than I have on my worst day. I needed that reminder that when it comes to serving Christ, I bring nothing to the table that will save me and the only thing I truly have worth sharing is HIM. I needed that. I needed that jubilant worship that filled our sanctuary and the knowledge that we gather in comfort while so many in the world don’t even have the luxuries of intact structures and indoor plumbing and freedom from the fear of where the next mouthful of food will come. I needed that reminder to LOOK OUTSIDE MYSELF. (And yes, I do know that I wrote that sentence twice in one paragraph—I really needed to be reminded of that…and maybe you do, too.)
I also needed the reminder that being poor in spirit does NOT apply to being pitiful and that my ever-gracious God who knows it all and still loves me anyway will still love me even when I lose my mind and forget how very blessed I am…even if for just a short time.
All praises to God for reminding us that we are not as pitiful as we feel some days and that we are, instead, most abundantly and amazingly blessed to be who we are, where we are, when we are, how we are and for giving us those with whom we share our lives every day. From pity party to praises…HE can do that for you, too.