Sundays are my favorite day of the week. There is a calm about them that permeates everything I do and lets me collect myself for the week ahead. Even if what lies ahead of me seems daunting, Sunday has a way of making it all seem not only possible but completely achievable, as if I have been overwhelmed for nothing.
And, really, that is true. Because whatever the coming week holds, we are not there yet. Rushing or worrying forward in the mind really does waste the present. The present of now. It’s funny the lessons we learn in life if we can be fully present, observe life impartially or through the eyes of innocence yet undisturbed by the values and beliefs of others.
By the age of ten I had a fair idea about Sunday Schools and churches that was probably a conclusion beyond my years. This was in large part due to jumping on the Sunday School bus that would stop by our house in the country. At the invitation of school friends, I would say, “sure, I’ll go to your Sunday school.” Why not?
The warm bus full of friends would show up to rescue me from the freezing bank of plowed snow I waited on and there I was. On another Sunday in another church. Evangelist, Catholic, United, Mennonite, Baptist, Presbyterian, Community churches and many others. I had sat in nine different churches before I reached the age of ten and decided I liked Sunday School alright. But churches overall were not for me.
The Pentecostal church was one of my most memorable experiences. I had watched a lady’s children for her one Saturday and there was no food in the house to feed them, really. But I scratched something together for a meal and then set to work cleaning the house while the kids played around me. It was just like babysitting at home in many ways. The one difference was when Sunday morning rolled around. She insisted I attend church with them before she drove me home. Okay, sure, I said. I knew what this was about. You go sit in one church and listen to people there tell you all the reasons why it’s the best one. Easy.
The hard part was watching her beefy arm stretch out to the collection plate and drop a fifty dollar bill in it. Yes, fifty. I fairly wanted to grab that piece of paper back and turn it into groceries for her kids. Or for my own brothers and sisters.
That experience solidified my opinion of what church was all about and while I did still attend church again with certain friends I wanted to hang out with, or because I enjoyed singing in the choir, I knew I didn’t have to go to church at all on Sunday for Jesus or anyone else to love me.
If Jesus loves all the little children, this I know for the bible tells me so, why would he stop just because we don’t show up and give money we don’t really have to give away to win his blessings? If he is so holy, he is also “all loving.” Therefore nothing we can do can halt that love. It struck me once that the love of self, the belief in self, is often what halts us, whether in our artistic or professional endeavors, efforts to simply be ourselves or walk the earth in a way that is consistent with our own souls. Because Jesus loves us no matter what, no matter who we are, where we are, or what we do. Right?
In my opinion, if I’m wrong about this, that really blows the concept of church right out of the water so I can’t be wrong. Right, wrong, or in between, at the end of the day, it’s really just my opinion. That’s what blogs are for, I am learning. And it’s my Sunday blog. So this is my Sunday church. Here where someone might read it and feel something that no church could achieve no matter how much money you give them.
This afternoon I am seeing a friend I haven’t seen in a while. He is a Christian and does attend church but we don’t let that stop us from being good friends. I will celebrate his presence in the world, his blessing in my life by listening to him, valuing his company, enjoying a laugh or two and, literary historian that he is, I am sure I will also learn something new.
This is how I spend Sundays. Thinking, talking, sharing and caring with people I value. Somehow the daunting week slips away, there is almost something holy in the calming influence of a Sunday. Suddenly, there is an exciting week ahead, challenges, yes, but much to look forward to, much to achieve and another lovely, calming Sunday to behold at the end of it all! However you spend yours, Happy Sunday, everyone.
(c) March 26, 2011