Andrea O Smith
Spoiler Alert: I’m the Sluggard
I wanted to go to church one morning, but I didn’t “feel” like going. I wanted to stay in bed, not shower, not wrangle breakfast for my 4 kiddos and have them looking presentable too. My heart and soul longed to worship with a fellowship of believers, but my body wanted to stay in bed, sneak pop tarts and scroll social media.
There was a battle raging. Each moment was wrought with “should I” or “shouldn’t I” thoughts with supporting reasons/excuses for each outcome. I had an online option, that would suffice. No! My kids need to see that we show up for our church family. What’s one week to miss? Maybe the week I needed to be there most. The church says come as you are, but there are limits to how one should arrive in public settings and I’m too lazy to dress to impress. Was the enemy trying to keep me or my family from hearing something that would inspire us to grow in Faith? Maybe we should go.
We hurriedly cleaned up and even though I knew we would be late to the last service, we loaded up in the truck and left the house. I praised the kids for faring so well considering the last-minute whirlwind decision to go. Meanwhile, my eyes kept returning to the clock to calculate how many minutes we would be late. I loathe being late. It’s worse when it comes to church because Singing is usually first and I love to sing to my Creator and Redeemer.
When we arrived, I hurried my children inside and screamed internally when they chose to walk across the “rocky bridge” rather than the smooth sidewalk, taking even more time.
Y’all, God met me at the children’s check-in counter. His love was wildly reflected through the smiling faces of the staff and volunteers that greeted us. They literally surrounded us. They all made us feel like celebrities! I even made the joke, “Wow! It feels like we have a fan club!” As soon as the name tags we’re affixed, my littles were whisked away by volunteers and my children bounced happily to their classes with them. The kiddo that usually makes a big deal of the whole process went along as if to an ice cream shop!!
As I finally sat down in the sanctuary during the last line of the last song of that set, my eyes flooded with tears. I came broken, late, against the will of my flesh, wet hair and kind of raggedy and yet, my family was greeted with an intense love that is indescribable. It was instant reward for obeying my Father’s will even if (especially when) I didn’t feel like it. My left eye continued to release tears through the rest of the service as I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit sitting among us.
Perhaps this sounds like a small thing. In the long-run maybe it is. The simple gift of being received with smiles and delight made a huge impact on me. I’m sharing because I know I’m not the only mom fighting the urge to stay home. I am not the only volunteer who questions wether their time, talent and skills are even making a difference. May I suggest, it’s worth it to fight that Sluggard inside.