On Sundays after church, there’s a feeling of benevolence in the air.
This is apparent to me because on Sundays after church, my children rarely bicker or complain and they are more apt to agree to normally opposed chores like mowing the lawn, putting clean laundry away, and washing my car.
They feel it, too. I know this because on Sundays after church, more than any other day, I am also more apt to agree to special indulgences like going out to lunch or stopping for ice cream or buying something I'd normally say no to.
Sundays are when we have each other’s number. But none of us seems to mind.
There’s a reason why going to church on Sundays feels so good.
It’s because at church, God is there. We still our hearts and our minds for one hour and focus on God, our creator and father. We sit quietly to pray and hear his word, then jump to our feet to sing and praise him. At church, we devote our lives – for that one hour – to God. There’s nothing else to focus on, no distractions to lure our attention away from him. When we’re at church, we allow ourselves to be emptied of worldly things and filled with his presence. We are in his house, and it is a welcome place. In God’s house, we have everything we need. It’s a good feeling.
Praising, praying, receiving the Holy Spirit, reading and meditating on his word – these are all things that happen on Sunday. How much better off we’d be if we did all of these things every single day? What would it be like if the benevolence that followed church on Sunday extended into the week? How wonderful the feeling if we distract ourselves from the world with God for an hour on a Thursday afternoon!
This is something that many people know already. For some who attend mid-week services and Bible studies and breathe prayers to God in the shower and while driving and who praise him while they watch the sun rise and set on each day and who take every care and concern and good thing to him, dwelling in God’s presence is their way of life.
I can’t say it is mine. I have too many concerns that I like to hold close to my heart, where they leach in and make me sad, mad, and discouraged. I have pet peeves that I like to stroke and feed and keep on a short leash. Only when I get fed up with myself do I ask God to take care of them for a while. But eventually I take them back.
Holding onto our cares is not what God wants for us. He wants us to be in constant communion with him, our lines of communication open and free. He wants us to confront a problem and look to him whether in Word or Prayer or Deed and say What now, God? Give me the answer – I sure don’t have it myself. Guide me in the way you want, and in the meantime I ask you to show me your plan. But if you don’t, hey, that’s okay, too. You’re awesome and I trust you, and I’m here to be your hands, feet, and words.
On Sundays, when we are in God’s house, the distractions are few and it’s easier to give up our cares to God. It’s a prescribed time to do so; we organize our lives to take that time to be with him. As a result we are refreshed, renewed, and filled with kindness, compassion, goodwill – benevolence.
Why don’t we treat every day – every minute – like Sunday?