I was sitting in church on Sunday morning, as I do every week, and there was one thing that I couldn’t get off of my mind. I am so tired. Is that a little disappointing? Maybe I should have been appreciating the worship, or the modern sanctuary environment, or the people, or the pastor’s message, but unfortunately none of those things were at the front of my focus because the long week I had just come out of was preoccupying my thoughts.
I can’t be the only one this happens to, though. Schedules are busy, school is overwhelming, workloads are heavy, activities fill our free time, and before we know it we’re sitting in service on Sunday morning struggling to keep pushing through. Being a born and raised Nazarene, that Sunday afternoon “Nazarene nap” that was coming in a few hours was really holding my focus.
Then the pastor started saying something about getting involved in the church, and taking leadership. My immediate reaction was to brush the idea away. Another responsibility to take my time? One more thing to fill my already busy schedule? No, I thought, there was no way. I couldn’t do it. Why couldn’t I just come to Sunday morning church and have a break? Why couldn’t I just sit in the service, get filled with some Jesus, and then go home?
And that was the point when the Lord started convicting.
I call myself a Christian, and I try my best to live in Christ’s example. In the Bible, Paul talks about the church as being the body of Christ – the people. Church isn’t a place you go to, it’s something you are.
I had to have a serious heart-to-heart with myself that morning. Being a Christian is not a side job. It is not an “I’ll do it when I have the time” activity. You do not get to pick the time and place. Christianity isn’t a time slot in your busy schedule. Let me rephrase that…Christianity isn’t a time slot in my busy schedule. It’s become so easy for me to prioritize the wrong things; A full course load, two jobs, extracurricular activities, time with friends, sleep…all of those things are very important, but it’s dangerous for me to allow myself to think that those things are more important than my relationship with Christ. Because the truth is when we put Christ at the top of the priority list, he gives us the strength and rest we need to do all the other things.
In Revelation 3:15-16, it says “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Being lukewarm was exactly what I was doing. Going through the motions, singing worship songs, sitting in church, and praying when the pastor instructed, was neither hot nor cold. As it says in Revelation, that is even worse than being cold! When we claim to be a Christian but don’t allow ourselves to be on fire for Christ, we are robbing ourselves of the life God wants to give to us.
We all struggle sometimes and let things pile up. In a world that glorifies busyness, slowing down can feel like a waste of time. That’s especially true for me. We can’t allow ourselves to be lukewarm Christians. Don’t allow church, or your relationship with God take a back seat. Life gets crazy and busy, and we all make excuses for why some things are more important than others. But remember that the Savior of the world wants to give you his undivided attention, and wants to introduce you to a love and fulfillment that nothing on this earth – no activity, promotion, paycheck, or grade – can provide.