Recently, I asked a friend of my daughters what church she went to and received the following reply: “We go to ‘So and So, Typical, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian Church . . .’ But we only go at Christmas and Easter . . . That’s the only time my Mom and Dad really take me . . .”
Ah ha, I thought – they’re Christmas-Easter Christians – or “Chreastians” as they’re sometimes known. It set me to thinking about such a practice.
Of course, as a Church leader I was dismayed because from my perspective those folks should be thanking both God and their lucky stars for their many blessings each week (not the least of which was this beautiful child) and offering meaningful worship to the Creator that gave them life.
But what really steamed my craw (I think I’m mixing my metaphors there!) was the fact that this girl who is in her very formative teen years, had so little opportunity to consider and investigate the spiritual part of her nature. And believe me that part of her nature is alive, whether they know it or not.
Now I could be wrong, I suppose, I mean maybe her parents go over all sorts of spiritual considerations in their household on a regular basis. But you know what – I doubt it.
Because my experience is that most of us are too caught up in the pace of modern life with all its technological “advantages” (see Stephanie Koehler’s column) and “opportunities” that fill one’s life to overflowing . . . But flowing into what? Mostly an overwhelmed state of busy-ness, and exhaustion that leads to complete distraction from the more important things in life.
And that’s why moms and dads, in addition to their spirit / faith starved children, need to come up for air and re-ground themselves each week at a place of worship that truly suits them. Whether that’s a high energy and fast paced sort of service (Dwight Steele’s wonderful church, Pilgrim Baptist comes to mind) or something more reflective and quiet (there are so many good ones.)
Helping you keep tuned to those “most important things” is a very big part of the Church’s job. In fact, here’s a big tip and you don’t have to say you heard it from me: Being in right relationship with God tends to solve a whole lot of problems.
Maybe a good way to think about it is to consider your senses. Really, for just a moment stop and consider what it would feel like to live the rest of your life in total silence – unable to hear a sound – ever. Really, stop reading right now and imagine that reality. Cover your ears if you need to. Go on – do it for 10 seconds or longer.
Got it? Well, that’s what you’re missing when you don’t exercise the spiritual part of your being – and just like all of your senses inform one another, so likewise does your spiritual health influence both your mental and physical health as well. And that works in all directions. Mind, Body and Spirit – the Apostle Paul, Gandhi and many others have all had it right.
So if you’re looking for a new beginning and are tired of being so inundated with the cacophony of the world, but so deaf to the more beautiful sounds of life, go on and be a “Chreastian” this weekend – and then keep on seeking to be one week in and week out. In some ways those of us who have the greater part of their “walk” before them should be considered the most blessed. So very much to discover . . . So very much true Joy ahead.
A Most Blessed Easter to All.
Stuart Revercomb is the Minister at Peace Presbyterian Church and the Publisher of this newspaper. You may reach him at [email protected]