I’m sitting at home on a Sunday evening, at the time when I’m used to being in church, and it feels weird.
Those of you who have been following the story for a while may remember that a couple of years ago I started going to church morning and evening, after a long time of being evening-only. I’m a night owl, and for years I just didn’t bother to even try to get up in the morning for church, because I figured it was pointless – I’d be no use to anyone, I’d get nothing out of it, so why bother… Then two years ago God prodded me to try, and I found it was so wonderful that I begged God to help me do it again the following Sunday.
It was just such a fantastic feeling, to be there with my church family, worshipping God together – I just didn’t want to sleep instead of doing that! Morning service has a different feel to it, it’s much more the whole church family together, not just the small crowd that comes in the evening. Being there in the morning means getting to know parents with young children, who can’t easily do evenings because of stuff like bath time and bedtime and all that. And I get to meet the kids, which is fun! And the older folk, who are a bit more reluctant to leave home in the dark. It’s all of us, and I love it, and it very quickly became my new normal.
In September I started studying, which is great but it is – as I knew it would be – hard work. So I guess it’s not surprising that at some point in November I found myself running out of steam, and having to rethink my use of time and energy. I got to a scary level of exhaustion, and it was clear that I couldn’t just carry on the way I was. So I did a bit of a stock take, and came to the conclusion that the “something” in “something has to give” was church on Sunday evenings.
So this morning after the service I was hanging out in church and milking it for all it’s worth, sticking around till the last people left, because I knew I wouldn’t be getting more fellowship in the evening and I’d miss it.
Obviously I don’t have to miss out on the sermons – I can catch up online – but it’s not the same as actually being there. I know it’s how it needs to be for now, life has different phases and right now I’m in a phase when I’m putting tons of time and energy into studying and I have to accept that I’m not superwoman. So I’m having to miss church on Sunday evenings. But this is just to say: when I miss church, I miss church.