Church-Zilla Strikes Again
Café Menu for Monday, August 19, 2013
Today’s Special is: How God Gave Us Our Sundays Back
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Michelle Axton Kelly
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV
Each Sunday began with great intentions. My vision for the morning was filled with images of my family, settled into Sunday school and our church service early, with bibles and tithes in hand. Matching shoes, bows and dresses would complement my preschool girl’s flawless manners. Brian and I would hold hands lovingly during those parts of our pastor’s teaching that touched our hearts.
But as the minutes ticked toward the start of service I repeatedly found us late, in chaos, and grumpy. I’d berate myself for not being more organized. Or Brian would take the time to make a wonderful breakfast for everyone…with clean up required. One tiny shoe would go missing. The kids would want to play with their toys instead of getting ready.
With each passing minute I would find myself growing anxious. Intense. Disappointed. Angry.
By the time we arrived at church it felt as if a battle had taken place. No one was happy and often I was in tears. I am ashamed to think of how more than once my frustrated husband reached the church parking lot and refused to go inside.
Was this the way we were supposed to enter worship?
The day would continue with the bittersweet reminder of what could have been, had everything gone perfectly. Yet despite my fervent pleas to God (and Brian) that next week would be different… the following Sunday morning rolled around with much the same effect.
You see, the church-zilla was me. And in quiet moments where I cried out to God in failure, I realized my insistence on creating the “perfect” morning could destroy everything we had. And not only on Sundays. The resentment from those mornings boiled over and impacted how we communicated throughout the week. Or how we didn’t.
Thankfully, God has worked with my heart over time to free me from this vision. Now I take steps to organize us the night before service which makes our Sunday mornings less hectic. We’ve also built in more time to get to church. And He has granted me with increasing patience. These days my focus is on being present in a spiritual sense, ready to learn, worship and please God with all my actions. I pray my children will remember our Sundays as peaceful and happy instead of what could have been with a church-zilla mama paving the way.
Have you ever had a church-zilla moment like mine?
It could be yours centers around school, play dates, or special occasion. Friend, if your family suffers during the “get there” process I encourage you to refocus. Ask yourself…
“Are all of my actions being done for the purpose of pleasing God?”
You see, Christ doesn’t demand our perfection. We don’t have to represent ourselves a certain way, have perfect attendance or even be on time to please Him.
What does He want?
He wants us to live with a heart like His.
Full of compassion.
It would be my honor to pray as you seek a change in this area. Please know that with God the most incredible things are possible for you. Please leave a comment below.
God, You know our hearts well and the areas that we struggle with. Transform us to be more like Christ, glorifying You and Your kingdom with all that we say and do. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
For more encouragement, visit Michelle at Confessions From The Back Pew where God uses the best and worst parts of her to encourage others to develop a truly personal relationship with Him.
© 2013 by Michelle Axton Kelly. All rights reserved.