We all have our days and I guess ours might have caught up with us this weekend. Although we’ve been more careful about adding to our schedule and trying to stay rested this year–and especially this show season!–the husband and I were on the verge of a crash Saturday night. We were beyond tired all of a sudden, so we had a mini-conversation and decided we would just stay home on Sunday instead of going to church. We would sleep in, set no alarms, and take the day to rest and recover.
Except…it was only the second Sunday in a row since September that we had been free and without a show. I’ve missed being in church. It’s too easy to get out of the habit of going and I had actually asked a few prayer partners to pray about that specifically for us: that we wouldn’t be drawn away and lose our desire for the fellowship. As I got ready for bed, I looked at the alarm and still chose not to set it. Instead, I just told God, “If I need to be there, wake me up in time to get ready.”
Boy, did He ever. 4:35 AM. Wide awake. Nope, rolling over wasn’t going to help. I just got on up and started doing little quiet chores in areas away from the sleeping husband and the cat who thinks he must be with me…loudly…as much as possible. I laughed about it to myself as I straightened the guest rooms and cleaned bathrooms: Apparently, I really needed to be in church…and, when my husband walked into the living room about 6 AM, I figured that he needed to be there, as well…but I didn’t say anything.
I finished preparing a few “happies” that needed to be delivered that morning, we fixed breakfast and finished watching the game that almost never ended. (LSU v Texas A&M–SEVEN overtimes?!! I am SO grateful for the DVR that allows me to sleep and watch football when my eyes can stay open!) I got up and started getting ready. It wasn’t long before my husband was preparing to go, as well. Sometimes, the encouragement of seeing someone else do something you know you should do is enough to help you push through and do it, too.
We arrived without incident and I set out to deliver my happies. Before I could leave the sanctuary, however, I spotted a friend who has been battling cancer for quite awhile. She was there despite the pain etched in her face. I stopped to hold her hand and pray. She is amazing. Leaving the sanctuary, I saw her husband, who is equally amazing. He had stopped to take a break, having gone as far as he could in that moment. I went over to tell him that we loved him and that we were continuing to pray for him, as well. He never looked up; he just said, “Dear Lord, don’t ever let’em stop.” I moved on before I burst into tears on the spot, praying for them as I went.
I also had to pray–for myself–and ask forgiveness for my attitude. Though no words of complaint had left my lips, my attitude was not a positive one…because I was tired. Here were my friends, battling pain, significant health concerns, and weary beyond belief from their long battles, making their way in to worship. I was humbled. I was chastened. I was encouraged. I had already received my first sermon and the services hadn’t even begun. I was reminded, for the second time that day, that sometimes, the encouragement of seeing someone else do something you know you should do is enough to help you push through and do it, too.
I’m sharing this today, at the beginning of this week–this MONDAY after a long holiday weekend when going back to our schedules feels harder than we remembered–as a reminder to all of us: complaint isn’t always verbal. Choosing to do what we know we should and doing it with a good attitude helps more than just us. Be a good example to those around you. Honestly, when I first typed that, it came out as “be a GOD example”–and that’s not bad advice, either, since that is what those of us who love God and are called to bear His name are supposed to do anyway, right?! Because, sometimes, the encouragement of seeing someone else do something you know you should do is enough to help you push through and do it, too.
Help those around you today by choosing a good attitude along with your choice not to complain. You never know who needs the encouragement to keep doing the same.
Grace and Peace!
(Side note: no, that’s not a picture of my church, but one of my favorite small chapels in the world. This one is at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA. If you’ve never gone down to see the Gardens, you need to do yourself a favor and plan yourself a trip. If you happen to be there on a Sunday afternoon, you can sit in the chapel–or outside and enjoy the beauty there!–and hear hymns played on their organ as the music swells out into nature and it feels like the flowers are joining in the worship. Really. You should go sometime!–and save me a seat.)