That’s what it feels like for Annie and I on Sunday mornings…a mad scramble. We hit snooze a couple of times too many and before long we realize that we need to get moving if we want to have any reasonable hope of making it to church on time. On most Sunday mornings we are cutting it really close so that the smallest issue or setback can turn into a world-ending affair.
This past Sunday was no exception. We were subbing in as music leaders for some friends at City View Church near downtown Grand Rapids. Musically speaking, we were well prepared for that morning. We had been practicing the songs all week long. We knew what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it. Yet mentally, I can speak for myself in saying that I was nowhere close to having a right focus or attitude toward leading the congregation in singing praises to God. As we gathered up our things and packed up the car that morning, we realized that something had been forgotten. So Annie ran back inside while I finished putting things away. As she got back into the car, I realized that I did not remember exactly how to get to the church. I started to pull it up on Google maps but my phone was conveniently running slow when I needed it to pull up the address instantly. Annie said that she would just pull it up on her GPS which just ended up annoying me even more since my phone should have made that unnecessary. When we finally got on the road, the GPS pointed us in the wrong direction from where we were coming out. So we had to make a u-turn in order to get back on track. Needless to say, I was less than thrilled with the morning’s events and found myself quickly sinking in the quicksand.
It is hard to know where to begin with that scenario. Time is always an issue for me no matter the day of the week. Living in the south for several years only seemed to enable my bad habit. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. I think that it is one of the reasons why people like myself are always running a few minutes late to things. We try to squeeze too many things into too little time. So it is always best to plan out your day and build in time for possible changes to your schedule of events or issues that pop up unexpectedly. Do not try to conquer the world in 16 hours. Be reasonable with what you can get done and be disciplined enough to work toward it. And leave early enough to enjoy that CD, audiobook, or sports talk radio on the ride over.
Time is far from the biggest concern here. This story reveals how quickly a person can be thrown off balance by things that really do not matter. To sum it up, we lose perspective far too easily. I allowed a forgotten item, an under-performing cellphone, and a wrong turn to dictate my attitude for a portion of the day. Of course, this phenomenon is not limited to Sunday mornings. It happens nearly every day with varying degrees of effectiveness. We can focus so much on these little events in our day that we completely forget about the majesty of God, the goodness of his creation (which we enjoy everyday), and the glories of the gospel that led to our salvation. The presence of God and his work in the world bear far greater consequences than an obstructed phone call or missed note in a song. I’m not saying that deficiencies and problems should not bother us to some degree. However, we should not allow them to overshadow the glory of God and good news of the gospel. He saved us from sin and death. He is redeeming the world so that one day we will not have to worry about injustice, disease, and death. He is sanctifying us everyday so that we are drawn further away from sin and closer to the heart of Christ. These are the things that define us as Christians.
On Sunday morning, I lost sight of what really mattered. But like every other moment, God corrected my blurry vision and allowed me to see the glorious riches of his grace. He allowed me to spend a few hours with a beautiful community of fellow believers so that we might all sing about the truths of an all-consuming gospel with one voice.