Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sleeping in Church

Today is Sunday. For those of us who choose to attend an organized church service each week, this will be familiar territory. I never try to defend our occasional lack of spirituality to those who don't believe as we do, because we do have our moments. While we sometimes judge our non-believing friends for their excesses of the flesh, remember, that's all they know. Not only that, we have the same carnal nature alive and well within us. The difference is we have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and have his Holy Spirit living within that spiritual segment of our being. The problem is we also have the free will to listen to and obey the spiritual urgings, or in rebellion ignore them and revert to our carnal urges. This makes us appear hypocritical in our actions when measured against our words. When non-believers are watching (and they are), we appear insincere. It is a problem that has affected believers since the beginning. On the other hand, when we listen to God's spiritual urgings and instructions, we can experience that fellowship with God that causes us to have a peace that passes all understanding. All believers and non-believers alike have a physical segment - the active body that people see and interact with, a mental segment - where we store and process all the genetic knowledge, emotion, education, prejudice, and results of interaction with others, and a spiritual segment - where the Spirit of God dwells when we believe. The mental and spiritual segments are separated by a "will switch" and can be accessed by an individual's choice. Non-believers have the same spiritual segment, but it is not an active part of their thought process until they believe. I explain this so that those reading who do not believe can understand our occasional wanderings. A hymn writer penned a line in an old hymn that said, "prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love, here's my heart Lord take and seal it...." So, on some Sundays believers may walk into the church service with less than adequate spiritual preparation, and ministers may be having a "bad hair day". This may lead to looking around at others for some carnal entertainment, or perhaps nodding off when we should be listening. You will know what my mood was on the Sunday that I penned this little poem.


Today in church
my foot went to sleep.
The sermon was long
and not real deep.
The rest of me was struggling too,
but only my foot went to sleep.

So since we are all God's creations, let's not judge. Please tolerate our inconsistencies, and we will pray that someday you will believe and understand the peace that we know when we are spiritually centered. I hope all of you have a great Sunday. We never lose our Spiritual relationship with God, but disobedience can cause us to lose fellowship. Pappy

Character is what you have left when you've lost everything you can lose. - Evan Esar