Crossroads

Last week, Halen observed, "There are a lot of people who believe the Gospel is true, but they don't go to church. . . . I want to be like that." His sisters want to be like that too.

If the truth be told, all of us want to be like that on some Sundays. Some of us want to be like that on all Sundays.

After a serene morning walk with Abu Halen, who had come for a quick weekend visit, I dropped him off at the airport and headed back home. The baby unfortunately chose not to nap during our trip, and we all missed lunchtime.

Road. Destination. Ponder.
All the way home, I deliberated on whether I should attempt to take the kids to church--we were all in our dress clothes anyway. If I took them to church, we'd be late getting there, the kids would be hungry, the baby would be fussy, and I doubted that any of us would get much out of the meetings. However, I'd be teaching them an important lesson that we shouldn't let obstacles easily impede us from attending church each week.

But then I thought, isn't the ox in the mire sometimes though? Kids need to eat? Babies need to nap? Mommies need to rest to retain sanity?

What would Jesus do? I could frankly imagine him choosing either path. If he stayed home, he'd explain, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. We take care of our family's needs as needed." If he went to church, he'd explain, "Our relationship with God comes first. Man doesn't live by bread alone but needs heavenly sustenance as well. Walk by faith."

By the time I neared the last turn before our house, I had finally decided that I should just take the kids home and put the baby to bed. At that instant Savannah whined, "How long do we have to stay at church?" And it was like that moment when Voldemort attacked the baby who was prophesied to destroy him, inadvertently giving Harry Potter power to do precisely what he was trying to preempt. Savannah's whining about church suddenly clarified my resolution: we were going to church.

Was that motherly stubbornness or revelation? I'm not sure, really. Maybe motherly stubbornness IS revelation? The baby actually did okay aside from a few teary moments. And although Halen had a hunger headache by the time church was over, there was no permanent harm done. Plus, I actually did learn a thing or two during my church meetings. In all, I never guessed the hours spent at church today would have turned out so positively, and I never would have known had I not tried.

It's a funny thing, you know? How we can believe something like churchgoing is right without really exercising our faith. But then when we extend ourselves beyond what's comfortable, just because we have an inkling that it's the best thing to do at that moment, we can gain a whole new perspective on or strength in our faith.