i did something different today

i did something today i don’t usually do.

i went to church.

sure, i spend most sundays at church, but not like this.

i didn’t wake up at 5 am to a piercing alarm clock like i usually do. i woke up at 7 to my daughter stirring in the other  room.

i didn’t spend my morning coordinating teams of people, processes, songs and equipment. i spent my morning coordinating diapers, outfits, breakfasts and car seats.

i didn’t pull my barely defrosted car into an empty church parking lot while it was still dark. i drove with my family in traffic. in fact, we made it out of the house 2 hours later than we planned. thank goodness for multiple services.

i didn’t scarf down a prewrapped muffin and bottle of water—my typical sunday breakfast. i ate a hearty meal at home. and then at church i hit up the cafe for a big fatty frozen mocha that (shamefully) got most of my attention during the first couple songs of the worship service…and it was awesome.

i didn’t spend my morning onstage or in a tech booth. i spent my morning seated in the back of the room being led into worship by the heartfelt people in front who i could tell, really believed the things they were saying and singing.

my mind wasn’t racing all morning thinking about all the things i try to plan for and control in a worship service, like the next song, the next transition, the greeting teams or the room temperature. i was watching all the things you can’t plan for or control that really make the experience special. like when a woman in a wheelchair came in late and a family gave up their chairs to make space for her and her husband. and when a young mother needed to nurse her baby, and a couple in the crowded newborn area offered to give up their seats for her. and when the keyboardist in the band stopped playing in order to raise her hands in surrender to something bigger than herself. all reminding me that church isn’t about ourselves.

i didn’t sit through the sermon with half my brain distracted by what could’ve gone better so far. i sat next to my wife, followed along in my Bible during an excellent message that focused on changing the world, and i took notes. good notes.

i wasn’t one of the last few people to leave the church. i got to pick up my daughter from her kids room and walk with her out to our car.

usually i’m at church. this morning i went to church. i left more grateful than ever for the people, the leadership, and the heart of our church—to be a church without walls, to be a church that cares deeply for one another, that is focused on God’s Word, to be a church that doesn’t exist for itself.

i love being at church each sunday, but it’ll be that much more special now because of how i got to come today.

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~ by bradherndon on January 25, 2009.

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