Imagine a pig-tailed yellow girl in the 70’s full of energy and attitude living with a single mother who was as quiet as mouse even in the middle of chaos. Now imagine that kid getting picked up every Sunday by her great aunt to attend church. This buck-wild kid would be dolled up, hair combed, face wiped shiny as a nickle, and placed into the cutest dresses with tight shoes to visit the small community church. She loved going to church and loved being around the kids who did not cuss, who did not start fights, and who did not smell like a bunch of funky monkeys (because we played hard)! She ran out of the house without hesitation because she had long stopped attending weekly services with her daddy when her parents divorced. She welcomed the time at church especially because they always went to Wyatt’s Cafeteria after church. She loved hearing the Mexican waitress come by saying, “Coffee, tea, wata? Coffee, tea, wata?”
Well, for whatever reason, her mother told the great aunt that she would take her to church the next Sunday and that she did not need to come by and pick her up for service. Just as she always did, she hopped up without her mother’s help on Sunday morning and began getting dressed. She was so excited to
be like the other kids and have her mama walk in like the other ladies in her pretty dress and shoes, that she did not realize her mother was not getting dressed. She had not even thought about the fact that her mother did not wear dresses, at all. She surely did not consider that her mother would never wear a big pretty hat because she had a lot of hair on her head that would not allow for the hat to sit properly. All she thought about was them going to church together.
When she yelled down the hall that she was ready, it was after she had paid careful attention to her own hair and her dress. She wanted her mama to be proud of her because she knew exactly how to act at church – which was different from school. She promised herself she would not cuss on the way to church, that she would not sco’ on anyone walking down the street because their bike was raggedy, and that she would mind her manners at the restaurant
after church. She even went into her savings to pay for dinner just in case her mama did not have the money. She knew that was likely because she and her mama sat down every pay day and listed the bills for the next two weeks. She remembered that there was not enough money to go out to eat when they went over the bills for the last pay day.
There was no response after she finished yelling she was ready. No movement, no water running, no heels clicking on the floor in the kitchen, nothing. Hmph.
“I’m ready! Are you ready Mama?”
“We ain’t going.”
“Huh, what did you say? You told me we were going to church today (softly at first). You told Auntie not to come and get me (louder now because she could see her mama was nowhere near getting dressed for church). YOU SAID WE WERE GOING TO CHURCH AND WE ARE GOING TO CHURCH!!
“Stacy, I don’t feel like going.”
“YES YOU DO BECAUSE YOU TOLD HER WE WERE COMING! WE ARE GOING TO CHURCH! YOU CAN’T DO THIS! WE ARE GOING TO CHURCH! I’M GOING TO CHURCH! GIVE ME THE KEYS (10 years old ready to drive)!”
This went on for 15 minutes or so until my mama got up, got dressed, and we went to church. I mean I acted a DONKEY’S BUTT in that house that day! [It’s not like that was the only time I acted out but I certainly did on that day].
The challenge in August Accountability is to address all areas of the quadrant enough to spark some reflection and self-analysis. This sector is no different. I know there are many who do not hold corporate worship dear or necessary for their growth. And not just spiritual growth, but in all areas of life. All I can think about it, even now, as I get caught up in the business of life, is what would our lives be like if we ACTED A DONKEY’S BUTT about not going to church. Or if we acted a DONKEY’S BUTT about sitting in a church home where we do not feel compelled to be of service to God. Or if we acted like a DONKEY’S BUTT when we are sitting under false doctrine!
What would our lives be like if we had the conviction of my 10 year old self about embracing corporate worship because it offered a refuge, a sense of order, a sense of belonging to something greater than self, a sense of compassion for our fellow man, a sense of conviction that God wants us to show for His kingdom far more than we show up for the world! What if…
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