There is a special kind of chaos that only comes to our house on Sunday mornings. During the week we can get to appointments and commitments without incident (generally speaking). But Sundays are different. On Sundays all the left shoes go hiding from their mates. On Sundays outfits are soiled with... it doesn't matter. Multiple outfit changes must take place. On Sundays the dog gets sick. On Sundays no one can find the lint roller. No one can find anything, really, but especially what was set out the night before.
For the record: I have tried many ways to ward off this mayhem. I lay out clothes, plan meals, etc., etc., but there's just something about Sunday mornings. I really, truly, deeply, love my church family, but every Sunday morning there is a testing of my faith, usually as I look on my hands and knees for a runaway shoe, that makes me want to throw in the towel and try Sunday brunch instead.
So what can be done to welcome rest in this recurring situation? Well, there is of course preparation, which does help significantly. But as I write this on Saturday night I can look around and tell you for sure I am not as prepared as I would like to be. Is there still hope of rest come tomorrow?
Two simple things I can do to welcome rest on Sunday (without prior preparation):
1. Hush the Rush
Nothing can change the disposition of our home as much as the simple choice to rush or not. Rushing ushers peace and rest right out the door, and while the door is open chaos floods in. It's not pretty. Often this choice rests with me. A few deep breaths and willingness to pay mind to the hearts and souls present rather than the clock can work miracles.
I'm not saying punctuality isn't important. It is, it really is. But every choice we make comes with a price and it's always good to pause, take a deep breath, and evaluate what attitudes and actions would be most God honoring. Which may mean slowing down and therefore showing up a bit late.
"The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere. That is why so much of social life is exhausting; one is wearing a mask." Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
Anyway, I digress...
Sometimes to "hush the rush" but still make it to church before it is over I have to make a call -- I have to decide what to let go. This decision is much more easily made if I remember what it is we are really doing. If we are really trying to show up and impress people with a fancy facade then nothing is excused from perfection and life just become infinitely more exhausting and frustrating. If real worship and fellowship is what we are really trying to do, then we're ok. Really, we are. It looks a bit messy but we make it with hearts that are ready to accomplish the real purpose of our gathering - worship and fellowship. (And don't worry, to date I don't think we have ever actually shown up without both shoes on our feet. Unless my child is too young to walk. That totally doesn't count.)
I share this with you not as someone who has mastered these skills, but rather as someone who is in the thick of the battle. Wishing you a very restful Sunday!