I went to church today…
On today’s training calendar is my long run. Normally, this would give me a case of the yays but because I am just getting back into running after injury, I feel mentally unfit. Even 2 miles feels grueling at the moment. I awoke this morning with plans to run, but my foot was yelling at me. “Great, I didn’t really want to run anyway. I’ll swim later and put it off until tomorrow. I’m SOOOO responsible,” I said to myself as I rolled over.
I had made breakfast plans with 3M the night before. She was going running too because, well. She sleeps, eats, has an occasional shot of tequila, and runs. So I had planned to go run and get our food on afterward. She texted me in the morning to ensure we could still eat.
But now I wasn’t running! I don’t normally miss church for purely social purposes. The game had changed. But I didn’t want to cancel because I didn’t run, and the two of us had been wanting to do this for a while so I said I was in.
I was driving on I-75 to see her feeling suuuuuper guilty. All this hype about missing church and now I had a WIDE opportunity to go and was choosing not to.
Breakfast was delicious. 3M is always great, of course. I couldn’t help looking at the clock, of course. First service was ticking by. Then two of my other tri buddies walked in. “Oh hayyyyyy!” Dressed in jeans and a blouse, it was clear that I hadn’t been training. “Did you go to church?”
Seriously, God. You sent a relay team for me.
I parted ways with 3M around 11. My dear friend was likely oblivious to my inner turmoil and I hope she doesn’t feel bad about anything. Totally my choice to say yes! I got in my car and headed toward home and was debating whether I should go to church late. Not a couple of minutes late, but QUITE late. In jeans. That’s not normally how I roll, though the jeans part is fairly inconsequential.
In the end, I did go. Y’all already know. I’m glad I did. Today’s sermon was from the Book of Judges. The judge of Israel at the time was Deborah (girl power!) and there she was having a talk with this guy named Barak. “Dude. God said you’re supposed to go to war with the people oppressing you and He’s gonna deliver you. What’s the hold up.” And Barak is all, “Uh, I’ll go if you’ll go.” So the God of the UNIVERSE spoke and Barak was still being a punk. He did end up going into battle with Deborah and a lot of other stuff happened. You can get a Bible app yourself. Anyway, Barak shows up later as *gasp* a good guy!
And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (Hebrews 11:32-34 NKJV)
Hebrews 11 is like, a roll call of awesomeness. People who served God like champs. And this dude, Barak, messed up and STILL made it in. Pretty cool. The pastor made the point that God will honor those who are faithful at the finish and Barak was. Today, so was I. I ended up where I should have been in the first place. Late, but I suppose better late than never.
I often fall into the trap of thinking that if I don’t have a great start, the rest doesn’t matter. I’ve messed up a LOT more than necessary because of this trap. I would have missed a great sermon today. It’s comforting to know that I can have less than stellar start and grow. Thank God that as long as I am blessed with another breath, I have another chance.
N.B. – I also missed a good chunk of the Gentlemen’s Final of Wimbledon. I didn’t even check the score on my phone during church. Well, it flashed once and I shut off the app. Now THERE’s some heaven-sent strength – if anyone could distract me from church it’s Novak Djokovic.