“So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.” (1Thessalonians 2:8)
We are so darn busy. We work fifteen percent more hours per week now than we did in the 1960’s. This leaves us little time for anything else. The challenges that face us are so all encompassing that we have little time left for concerns for others, let alone time to honor God. Yet, here is God calling us to not only attend weekly worship, but pray, participate in mission activities, and what’s more, actually find time to develop honest-to-goodness relationships. Really? Has the Apostle Paul looked at my calendar recently?
A friend of mine recently told me he was tired of excuses. We make our choices and we should just stand by them. I agree with him wholeheartedly! God isn’t expecting us to be in church twenty-four/seven. God does expect we attempt to bring God to our every activity, twenty-four/seven. Our congregation has a lot of activities. It is almost overwhelming the amount of opportunities we provide every week. However, we do not require every church member to be at every activity, every week. Weekly church attendance is an expectation, but we understand that you have other responsibilities and commitments.
I’ve witnessed some churches where they attempt to make their church, and its activities, one’s whole life. Every available hour is expected to be lived with God, and that occurs primarily at their particular church. Westminster does not affirm this theological understanding. I believe our church is a place where we nurture, support, and prepare individuals for a life of faith, in the world. Westminster prepares you to take God home to your family, into your work place, and all your activities. We believe that our church family is called to make a difference in the larger community. This means you might not always have time for every church activity, but you are taking Westminster into the community by the work you are doing in God’s holy name.
Today, re-evaluate how you are choosing to use your time. Focus on what is truly important. Sunday morning worship should be non-negotiable. If you cannot attend regularly because of a work commitment, then you need to make another time during the week available for church participation. Regular prayer is not negotiable. Then, focus on what your family requires to be healthy. Reflect on what your job requires. Is your job performance solid and healthy, or are you overworking, without benefit to family, yourself or your faith? If that is the case, change may be necessary.
Finally, consider how you can bring your own unique way of bringing faith into your other responsibilities. I knew a parent who went to her child’s soccer practices. She would quietly pray for each of the children, parents, and coaches. She said it was amazing the times she would pray for someone and they would find their way to her and a relationship would start. She would hear about the person’s concerns, joys, and needs. She knew God was working in and through her. God can do that for you as well. Reach out to others and reach up to God. Life will have even greater meaning and fulfillment when we intentionally choose a life with God, rather than just existing from one commitment to another.