I was going to bail on church today. Yep, I said ‘bail on church.’ People say that.
I woke up with a start at a bit before five (4:39, to be exact); actually the result of a bad dream. The dream has nothing to do with anything else I’m going to share so I’m not going to talk about it. You don’t want to know about it anyway. Seriously. Bizarre.
Because my dream left me so alert, I couldn’t go back to sleep and because I had already gone to bed worried about all that I had to do today, I decided just to get up. I think it’s going around … the ‘I’m-so-behind-and-can’t-catch-up’ mentality.
Anyway, as I finally felt I could focus on the document I owe out tomorrow, I realized the clock was approaching that time that I’d need to shower and get dressed and I had a debate with
the cat the little dark angel on my left shoulder. They always sit on the left shoulder, right?
I said: ‘You know I have to go practice my scarf-making skills with the church ladies, anyway. It only makes sense to go to church as well since I’ll literally be across the street.’
Dark angel said: ‘Yeah, but you could wear comfy clothes to make your scarf in and then go get groceries because you haven’t done a real trip in three weeks. And you know how it is when you need groceries. You tend to take forever. And then you have to clean because you really haven’t done that in several weeks either. You also have multiple loads of laundry to fold and still, more work to do.’
I responded: ‘Yeah, but my mom will miss me.’
So I made the decision to get dressed and go to church. I don’t want my mom to worry.
The hour before church was spent ‘worshiping’ with my church ladies while we attempted to make scarves. I say ‘attempted’ because most of us didn’t actually finish the assignment. I don’t appreciate those videos that tout you can pick something like that up in 30 minutes. Those people clearly don’t know that I have only held a skein of yarn, like, three times in my life. I only heard the word skein for the first time two or three weeks ago.
Anyway, we were ever so close to being late for church because we were having fun at our other church service. But thankfully, we weren’t late … depending on how you define late. Whatever.
Church flowed like it normally would but had I not been there, I would have missed seeing my niece and some of the other talented youngsters at church lead the worship service. I would have missed a wonderful, heartfelt prayer from a man I’ve really come to appreciate for his faith. I also would have missed the message.
The scripture today came from a very familiar text: John 3:14-21. Most specifically, I honed in on 3:16-17. John 3:16. The shortest gospel. Such a simple message. Sarah, a lovely woman who came to us late last year, led our service this morning and I’m so thankful for her because she has such a genuinely sincere style in her delivery. And she talked about how simple it really is … yet we make it so difficult. We get so consumed with wanting more, always wanting more. But, we have all that we need; all the love we ever needed. Sarah shared that this is God’s way of sharing how crazy he is about us. I’m sure a lot of you have loved someone like that … like that kind of crazy. He loves us even more than that!
And John 3:17? Well, that’s my grandpa’s favorite verse. I waited for my dad to comment and he did. We always think of him when that verse pops up. It’s so easy to always think of John 3:16 because it really encompasses everything you ever needed to know about salvation. But John 3:17 gives us that beautiful description of WHY Jesus came to live with us. It wasn’t to condemn us, but to help and make the world right again. I love that. Jesus loved.
At the end of the day, those verses to me are really just about love. So easy.
So, while I’m stressed and freaking out that I’ll never get my head above water at the moment, I know I’m loved and I don’t think there’s anything most of us want more than that. And certainly, there isn’t anything any of us need more than that.
Sometimes we just need those simple reminders.