This past Sunday, I made a point to get up early to make it to first service at church. For me personally, this was significant, since I have struggled this past year to be consistent with attending church. On Sundays, we have to be up in time for first service, because we have a standing appointment before noon. Usually, if we don’t make first service, we don’t make it to church at all. Since having a baby, it has been particularly challenging to get everything going and get moving early enough to make it anywhere early. This week however – partially due to the loving challenge presented by my sister to help motivate me, and also the gentle reminder from my husband to set my alarm – I woke up and got ready in time to go.
While I was still running late, a peaceful happiness settled over my heart once we were on the road. Gradually a dialogue began between me and the Lord. It’s a half hour drive to church, and the car was pretty quiet, so I had some quiet time to chat. It’s interesting how often I find myself talking to God, and then forgetting to listen. Fortunately for me, He is patient and persistent.
As I was driving and asking the Lord for direction in my life, both church-wise and just in general, I had this random thought that maybe I should go to a different church that morning. While I had been to the church before, and knew people there, my plan for the morning was to attend the church I usually try to attend. So… after asking for direction and asking God to speak to me, I kept on with my plans.
As I arrived at the church only a few minutes late for the beginning of the first service, it struck me that the parking lot looked rather empty. Pulling into a parking spot and opening up the church app (yes, there’s now an app for that, too), I saw that they were only having one service. It was at 11am. Now as I said before, if we can’t make the 9am service, we won’t have time to stay for the entire service.
Of course, at this point, God gently started to remind me of that persistent little inclination I had earlier to turn and go to the other church that day. I realized that in the midst of asking for direction, God had actually given me an immediate answer. I had just been to busy following my plan for the day to hear Him. It made me think. How often does God try to direct my path, but I’m too bust following my own way to pay attention?
The whole experience made me more aware of God’s presence in my every day moments. It also made me acutely aware of my own need to be intentional about spending time in prayer and reading His word. I don’t want Him to have to tell me twice if the situation is more dire. I want to hear His voice and recognize it for Who it is.
To wrap this up. the sermon at the other church was poignant and spoke directly to where I am in this season. I was thankful that God didn’t give up on talking to me. He made time to speak to a lot of different areas in my life in one morning. All I had to do was wake up and make time for Him, and He was there waiting for me. Sunday’s lessons both encouraged and comforted me. Now, even though I may not know the “why” behind His direction , I am eager to follow it. I feel a renewed sense of awareness of God’s presence and purpose in my life.
Anyway, that’s what’s on my mind today. 🙂