This piece was written by David
Beckwith, and this writer uses it with her seminars on “The Confident
Woman”. One of my readers requested information on time management, nonetheless, the same situations could happen in Detroit, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Bitburg or any city – maybe even in your town - but don’t you allow it!
The chance of things going haywire on a Sunday morning is at
least seven times greater than on any other morning of the week. Dead car batteries, hot water that is cold, milk that is sour, wet underwear, clogged toilets, stuck zippers, stained
suits, cologne mistaken for mouthwash, lost Bibles, curling irons that hiss,
nylons that run, sick puppies, power failures touchy tempers, grumpy attitudes,
and daylight-saving time. Thieves break
in on Saturday nights just to steal one of a nicely matched pair of socks.
I chuckle at my childhood memories. We lived only one block from church, but it
took three and a half hours, 97 gallons of water, and three cars to move eight
Beckwiths from their beds, through the shower, and to the front door of the
church. Moving the children of Israel
from Egypt to the Promised Land was a piece of cake in comparison.
To begin with, Sunday mornings were marred by a notable
family tradition, a siesta soak in the tub.
Leisurely draw the bath water, lock the door to the only bathroom in the
house, and soak while reading the jokes in Reader's Digest or clipping your
nails. How the bathroom door survived
the brutal beatings I'll never know.
Tempers flared at the thug in the tub.
"Aren't you done in there yet? Come on, open up!" "Hurry up! Church is going to dismiss any minute
now." "Do you want dinner
served in there?" Even telegrams
from the White House were ignored.
Church stated at 9:45.
A Beckwith normally arrived every 10 or 15 minutes between 9:30 and
10:30. Nice schedule for an airline
terminal, but not a church.
Let's sharpen the focus on the Sunday family fiasco. What really is happening?
First, God is not honored.
Attitudes for proper worship are formed in advance. Isaiah spoke of those who worshiped the Lord
with their lips while their hearts were far from God (Isa. 29:13). It is next to impossible to worship God with
the latest family feud still on your mind.
Second, God's Spirit is hindered. Enthusiastic song leaders grow discouraged
trying to lead people who are still steaming over cross words fired 15 minutes
ago. My family's late arrival was
discourteous and disrupted the service.
Third, hypocrisy is promoted--harsh words one moment
followed by blessing God the next. "Out of the same mouth come praise and
cursing. My brothers, this should not
be" (James 3:10).
So what can be done to arrive for church on time with a
minimum of frustration? Have the kids
sleep in the car? Camp out in the church
Call a family conference to discuss the problem and discover
Allow each person to explain his or her Sunday frustrations
and offer suggestions, but don't allow accusations to fly: "Yes, but you
are always…" Write the plan down.
Guard Saturday night functions:
Late Saturday nights are the prelude to a chaotic Sunday
morning. Plan to get to bed early. "Early to bed, early to rise, makes
Sundays a pleasant surprise."
It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark. Set out clothes, shoes, socks, diaper bags,
strollers, and Bibles ahead of time. Set
the Sunday breakfast table on Saturday night.
If sufficient hot water is a problem, schedule some family members for
Saturday night baths. Dad, help Mom get
the kids ready and breakfast prepared. This is particularly important when the
children are small. She'll love you for
the day with some Christian music:
It really makes a difference. Set a departure time that doesn't require
split-second timing and race-car driving.
to arrive five to ten minutes early:
At our home, we set a departure time five minutes prior to
the time we must. Anyone not in the car
five minutes after scheduled departure time does the dishes for the next
meal. So far, Dad has done the dishes
more often than anyone else.
Satan will do his utmost to hinder your worship of God. Reaffirm your commitment to fellowship with
God's people, "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love
and good deeds. Let us not give up
meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one
another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Heb. 10:24-25).
When you arrive for church early, spend those moments in
prayer and reading your Bible. Ask God
to speak to you. He will! I should add, if you find yourself running
late on a Sunday, don't stay away. Just
quietly slip in, smile at the usher, and hold up your watch and shake it. He'll understand. We've all been there. By:
David Beckwith, Library
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