September 1st Weekly Meditation
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:9)
There was a time in my youth when I did not want to go to church. That can be especially complicated when your father is the pastor. As a PK (Preacher's Kid) there was an expectation that my siblings and I would be present and even attentive on Sunday mornings. However, I was a rebellious teenager and besides, church was boring.
I was reminded of this time of my life as I was reading the book, "Hiking Through" by Paul Stutzman. Stutzman wrote about attending church, saying, "It was more of a habit and way of life than a spiritual event; sadly and unfortunately, I'd been bored many times in church services."
I still remember the Sunday morning battles with mom and dad. "Do I have to go?" "Can't I stay home?" "Church is SO boring." Sometimes they would give in and I would get to stay home. Sometimes I would give in and spend the hour staring out the window and planning my Sunday afternoon.
It wasn't all bad, though. By this time, my sister and brother were off at college and I would sit alone near the back of the church. Many Sundays, Mr. Hapgood would be sitting right behind me. To my teenage mind, Mr. Hapgood was about 100 years old and his wife sang in the choir which meant he, too, was sitting alone in the back of the church. He would always offer me a piece of candy and ask me about school or how the fishing was. I actually got to the point where I looked forward to seeing Mr. Hapgood and talking with him before church started. I even stopped fighting mom and dad about going to church.
Something else happened at that point. I stopped staring out the window and planning my Sunday afternoon and I began to pay attention. Dad was actually a pretty good preacher. Who knew? Without realizing it at the time, I was building a relationship with God. I was beginning to see where faith could really have an impact on my life. And church wasn't quite so boring anymore.
When Stutzman wrote about being bored in church, he says it wasn't because of the church or the pastors, and he doesn't blame God. He wrote, "It was my own doing - or rather, my lack of doing. I had never taken much time to communicate with God, never really wondered or tried to find out who (God) truly was." His words remind me of a friend in high school who used to say, "If you're bored, it's because you're boring."
Church is a time and place to communicate with God and try to find out who God truly is. I am thankful for Mr. Hapgood for helping me on this journey, and of course mom and dad, too. And countless others who have helped me discover the "fountain of life."
I'm still trying to find out who God truly is, but one thing I have found is that quest is never boring.
Worship This Week
Thursday, September 3, 6:30pm on the North Sidewalk
Sunday, September 6, 10am in the Peace Garden and on Facebook Live (Note the time change)
This Week: Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law
If you choose to join us in person, please wear a mask and practice social distancing
Learning opportunity will begin later in September via Zoom or possibly in person
Based on the book, The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg, we will discuss the basics of faith and how it impacts our daily lives. If you are interested, please contact Pastor Wayne
Keep In Prayer:
Family and friends of Lorrie Watkins
Lyle Rhoad (brother-in-law to Betty Rhoad)
Our shut-ins: Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne