Like most Christian parents, mine brought me up to attend church at least once every week – especially Sunday mornings. Now that I am older, although they aren’t around to pressure me to attend church regularly, amazingly I still do. I actually love to attend church services. I think that with the many pressures of life, I need to find a place to just go and exhale regularly. For me that place is church. I am glad that GOD exists – the one that I run to every Sunday morning with loads of heart felt praise and prayer requests for a better life!
Since I moved to another State away from my birth church, I had attended a number of churches before I finally settled down at my current church. Although many do not regard the church that I attend as perfect, I think that it’s a great enough church since the Pastor calls on JESUS CHRIST every now and then – isn’t He all that counts?
Some say that churches congregated with young people are not conducive for worshipping God since many of the members are unholy, scantily dressed, and are only on the look out for the cutest girl/guy at the corner. I generally don’t worry myself much about all these kinds of assertions especially since I know no one is perfect. I see church as a gathering of the broken, the imperfect and the lost, not necessarily a congregation of perfect saints floating around with invisible halos on their heads. So instead of being a hypocrite myself, I go to Church and allow God change me one day at a time.
The church that I attend is attended mostly by the youth with a capacity of about 1,500 attendees who walk and talk without restrictions i.e. there is no definite dress code and everyone is quite free. To be honest, I love the freedom since I hate to be policed! However, since it’s a given that people are prone to taking little privileges like this for granted, while in church I sometimes feel that God isn’t at all pleased with many of the congregation’s excesses!
I dare to say that aside from the brief prayers people make daily, the average person spends only 3 hours (the duration of the average Sunday church service) a week, before God. So out of a possible 168 hours a week, we are likely to spend only 3 hours with God. That’s 12 hours out of a possible 672 hours in one month. I am sure you can all spot the vast difference in the time we spend with God compared with the time devoted to other activities using this simple mathematical illustration. It really does seem like pittance when you think about the amount of time we spend with colleagues, family, friends and even foes.
Despite my non judgmental attitude, I cannot help but sometimes wonder why people cannot remain attentive at church for 3 straight hours. During church services, many attendees still make time to chat with friends, receive phone calls, sleep, or even leave the church before the service has been concluded – isn’t it so easy to make room for all sorts of distraction while in church and not think anything of it?
Several weeks ago at a service, I sat close to two women who couldn’t stop talking. It took everything that I had to mind my own business! I almost asked them to “shut up”! I assumed that they had chatted all week long and now they couldn’t just be quiet in church! Never mind that they were missing what could be an important message but they were also distracting me! At other times you see people tweeting, whispering into their phones or responding to BB messages. These are things we wouldn’t do in a meeting without feeling terribly embarrassed so why do we think it’s appropriate to do so in church, given the already small amount of time we have to spend with God.
I own four phones, and at every given moment, I receive e-mail messages, IMs, text messages and phone calls – many of which carry exciting news either about the latest gossip about the office, my business, my family and friends, however I have trained myself to shut it all out within the 3 hours I spend in church. For the entire duration of the service, I am determined to give all of my attention to God so I focus on Him, and reverence Him only. At this point, everything else is second place. It wasn’t easy at first but now it’s second nature, so I encourage everyone to do likewise. The next time your blackberry winks at you during a church service, ignore it – the world can wait!