Have you ever used those little Dixie cups in the bathroom? You know the ones that are the perfect size for that nightly “I need a sip of water” with the kids. When you leave liquid in those cups for any length of time it disintegrates. The bottom of the little tiny cup is nothing. It can’t hold onto anything, no matter how hard we try to fill it back up.
Disintegrated and empty. That’s how I feel by the time Sunday rolls around. There is nothing left of me. There is no support to hold onto any amount of energy I may be able to muster up. Physically, mentally and, especially, spiritually I’m drained. It’s one reason why I find going to church of a necessity. I know what I need to be renewed for the week.
Lately, we’ve been attending a “satellite” church. The people are very kind. The children’s program seems to excite the boys when they know they’ll be going there. The first few times we went around Easter we found it physically painful to be there. As a very new church they hadn’t figured out the sound equipment and the bass was always so loud it hurt the chest. We were thrown for a loop the first time we saw that giant screen come down from the ceiling as the sermon is given by a pastor in another state. He’s a great pastor. I enjoy him so much I often go searching for his series on YouTube.
However, there is a disconnect. Even though everyone is friendly, there is still something missing. I don’t know what it is exactly. Perhaps I just don’t have the correct vocabulary to properly articulate it. During worship 95% of the people there just stand. They don’t sway to the music. They don’t sing. They don’t even mouth the words. They are just there. With looks on their faces that they are processing their to-do lists and deciding if they should go to First Watch or Houlihan’s for lunch. It’s like they’ve been forced to the movie theater by their spouse. All they are missing is giant tubs of popcorn and overpriced boxes of candy.
So after last weeks sermon that really spoke to my heart I couldn’t wait till this week. I GoodSearched the sermon and guess what. It’s online. It was uploaded months ago. I watched all four weeks worth of sermons in a few hours. So there was really no reason to attend the church this week. None.
Except the fact that I was drained and desperately needed my cup to be filled.
So we went to a church we hadn’t gone to in years. In fact, it use to be located in the same building as the satellite church. We got there a few minutes before the service started. Took time to fill out the forms for our kids and handed them off to the children’s service volunteers. We hadn’t been in the sanctuary for more then 60 seconds and the next worship song started – Oceans. Oh how I love this song! I closed my eyes and sang those amazing words. I could hear others around me singing. Most off key – but every single one of them sang for the same reasons. To be renewed. To be thankful. They were singing as a whole praying to God. I felt renewed through them. I no longer felt alone. It was within those 60 seconds I felt what was missing. I felt that this was the place I’d find it.
Tears were rolling down my face before the end of the song. I locked pinkies with my husband and just prayed through worship. I soaked every note of that song into my soul. And the next song. And the next. The sermon was given that day by the lead pastor, who was there in the flesh. No prerecorded playback. The words stung a few times as he spoke. Ones directly from the Bible that reminded me how I was pushing myself to carry this weight – physical and mental – around when I don’t need to do so.
After the service they had a special time in a tent outside the church. We got to walk around and learn about all the different community service projects, men’s groups, women’s groups, fitness groups, family groups, etc. I signed up for a couple and we found a family that meets every other Friday starting in October for a bible study.
I think my cup is overflowing today….and I walked 3.28 miles with lots of hills!