A story from my day this past Sunday (it looks long, but it will read fast!)
Our church has just launched a second parish in the city of Reading. Right now the core launch team is meeting at a restaurant, mi casa su casa (we are moving into a building the first week in December.) Carrie and I have been helping to lead worship there once a month, and the whole setup is temporary, of course. Well, it ended up being a real adventure... here's how it looked:
- 8 AM: I go pickup the keyboard from our main parish, St. James.
- 8:30 AM: Go back home, get the rest of the family ready and pack up
- 9:30 AM: Drive to Mi Casa, Su Casa to drop off the equipment
- 9:45 AM: Drive to St. James to drop off the kids (no childcare at the new parish, thank goodness they are only 1.5 miles apart)
- 10:00 AM Drive to Mi Casa, Su Casa to setup for worship (service starts at 10:30). We realize our worship leader, who usually coordinates things but was in the hospital yesterday morning - third child born!) did not communicate about needing an amp for the keyboard.
- 10:20 AM Rush back to St. James to look for a portable sound system, we find one.
- 10:25 AM Rush back to Mi Casa, Su Casa to quickly setup for worship. We realize a piece is missing from the sound system, doesn't work. Tell the elder and speaker who are going to do some other elements in the service first while we go look for the missing piece.
- 10:35 AM Drive back to St. James to look for the missing piece. It is truly missing. We aren't going to have a keyboard. (It was just Carrie and I leading, so piano was the only instrument other than Carrie's flute and a djembe.)
- 10:40 AM Drive back to Mi Casa, Su Casa. We made the decision to do something crazy. I had a djembe (a drum) and Carrie had her flute. So, without any preparation, we end up leading worship a Capella with a flute and a drum! Most unique worship leading ever.
- 11:40 AM service is going long, and the service at St. James (where are kids are) is over (I had asked Ben, who was leading worship at St. James to text when they were finished) SO... sneak out of the service and drive to St. James to pick up our kids.
- 11:55 AM drive to Mi Casa Su Casa to pack up all the sound equipment and keyboard we didn't use! (After that service ended)
- 12:10 PM drive to St. James to drop off all of the equipment.
- 12:40 PM pick up lunch at Viva, go home, and chow down on a well earned lunch.
I struggle with change and when things don't go according to plan. I truly hate that. (No surprise to those of you who have worked with me or known me for any significant portion of time!) Ironically, the sermon series right now at our church is on anxiety (Luke 4:4-34) . Anxiety and rest and Sabbath are directly tied together.
Amid all the craziness yesterday, when things were not going right over and over again, I was actually laughing about it and not getting worked up or upset. Later in the day, I had to reflect on why. And I think this is the answer: I had made a firm decision that this day, my day of rest, was not going to be about work or accomplishing anything. And so, when things didn't go according to plan, I was able to accept them readily because I had to assume this is what God had intended because this day was about what He was doing, not what I was accomplishing.
Had I not had that mindset on the day, I fear what might have happened. Probably some speeding, some frustrated words with my wife, and some stressful, strained moments in a church service ending in a collapse of exhaustion and frustration.
And then of course, came the reminder from my Father, the obvious conclusions that we see when we pause long enough to listen: Phil, this is how I want you to live EVERY day.
"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! (Luke 12:27-28).
Nothing like a practical application of the sermon literally as it is happening.
We ended our worship set with the hymn My Faith Has found a Resting Place:
"I need no other argument, I need no other plea:
it is enough that Jesus died and that he died for me!"
Slowing down and resting allows us to live out what we believe: that no matter the circumstance, good or bad, minor or life-changing, our faith rests on the completed work of Jesus.
What about you? What does your life look like with and without rest? What are we teaching our students about rest and work by the patterns we are living out in front of them?
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Have a great day BCS Community!
check out the BCS video update from November 10, 2015