Sunday, January 04, 2015

Snow, Ice, A Walk in the Park, and a Confession

For 40 years of my adult life there was one common denominator to Sunday mornings, Church and Worship. Most often as a worship leader, sometimes as a participant. The experience was regularly meaningful and challenging and sometimes; boring and frustrating.  Church was where my community was present and where I had a place, a position, a space. And when I wasn’t there, I was missed and I missed it. Sunday morning worship also created a rhythm for the week. It marked both the end of a week, especially when I had spent a good part of the week in preparation to lead worship, and the beginning of a new week. Attending worship became as natural and as important to me as breathing.

Now, in this “senior” season of life, Sundays are different. Yes, I still sometimes have leadership responsibilities on a Sunday morning but not every Sunday. And those responsibilities rarely take me to the same church two weeks in a row. I still have a need for community but my understanding of community has expanded to include wherever I might find myself on a Sunday morning.

The truth is that many Sunday mornings I now have a choice. That choice is about where to attend worship and whether to attend worship on that particular morning.  The confession is that sometimes I choose to participate in life in a different way on a Sunday morning.  This was difficult at first and in some ways hasn’t become any easier. It is not a freedom that I take lightly. The choice is deliberate and for me an experience of Grace because attending worship had become a “should”, a “must”, a “I’d better”.

This morning I awoke to discover the ground covered with an inch or two of snow with a coating of ice on top. Sleet and freezing rain was falling from the sky and everything sparkled. I got dressed and drove up to Saratoga State Park to go for a walk. It was awesome to be outside in the cool air, temp around 32 degrees, with the cold rain falling and everything covered with a glaze of ice. Each step was an adventure as I carefully placed my feet on the slippery surface. Each tree branch and bush was a piece of art as it glistened with its’ coat of ice. I prayed as I walked those two to three miles. I lifted my heart up in thanksgiving for the beauty that surrounded me and for the many blessings I have experienced in my life during this recent holiday season.

So, I confess, I didn’t attend worship today. Or did I?


Dewey said...

Nice. I'm happy to have you celebrating such icy weather. Amazing!

Dustin Wright said...

Just came upon this and really enjoyed the read. Have a blessed week Chuck!

- Dustin Wright

Ann Wilkening said...

I know you worshipped