It’s been another busy weekend: my girls needed new glasses, Joel had a party, we had a great Sunday morning service celebrating and reviewing the time our teenagers spent at New Wine, and then the afternoon was taken up with clothes shopping (the girls have grown so much over the summer, nothing fits!) And yet another rehearsal squeezed into the evening!
I don’t know about you, but life is just busy these days…last week I had a leaders meeting, church meeting, staff meeting, worship team rehearsal, jazz band rehearsal. And on top of that there was my role as Dad’s Taxi, so we drove to and from beavers, piano and violin lessons, ballet and swimming with friends. And somewhere in between it all we worked, cooked, cleaned, showered, slept… All of this is important, most of this needs to be done, preferably not all in the same week (fortunately meetings are generally monthly so I do have time to shower at least three times a month….) But there is a stage when we just become busy without being productive, we run around so much and build up so much momentum, it is difficult to actually stop.
I read a great story about a professor who had a large jar which he filled with rocks, and then asked his class “is it full?” And some of them said yes, so he then poured in the gravel, which went in the gaps. And he asked the same question, “is it full?” So more of the class thought it was full….until he got out a bag of sand. Which filled the air gaps that were left, and by then the class were agreed that the jar was full, there was no more space. Then he poured in a glass of water… There is always space for more stuff, but at the expense of what?
In our busyness of life, when there is so much going on, so much to do, pressure to be places and to achieve, it is often our praise and worship which are the first to go. I am old enough to remember when the shops were shut on a Sunday, church was the main event on a Sunday and the day was set aside as special…as in creation, the sabbath remained the sabbath. These days most shops are open on a Sunday, and are pushing for normal working hours. Church is no longer a Sunday requisite, and even regular church attenders and members often don’t come weekly…a trend which is replicated across the UK and the USA. Rather than Sunday Services being the thing that starts the week, they are becoming an also ran in competition with giant shopping centres, football matches and car boot sales….whatever becomes more attractive, or in a 24 hour seven day a week society, necessary when it is the only time to do these things.
This week we are continuing with our Story series at EBC, focusing on the book of Ezra. This book of the Old Testament looks at how the Israelites were restored from a long time in exile, as a tribe, as a community, and as God’s people. Chapter three, which is the section we are exploring on Sunday, tells of the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem so the people were able to once again worship and celebrate, something they had neglected to do for a long time. They are so keen to worship, and put God back at the centre, they don’t even wait until the temple is finished.
Just One More Thing
This great song by Sara Groves looks at just that, as the chorus says: