twenty-thousand hours!

LOW: Living 'the good life' involves doing things you might not like a lot, and even some things you can hardly stand. Going to church is that for me. I've gone to church all my life and I intend to keep going until I die. That won't be easy for me. One day, not too long ago, right out of the blue, I turned to my wife and said, "You know, I find church boring...and come to think of it, I always have." My words surprised both she and I, partly because of their implication; but mostly because they were heartfelt. Since that day I have been consciously seeking ways to make church less boring and more tolerable for me. This glory-story is part of my effort.

MEDIUM: I go to church for the same reason I do lots of things that are boring, uncomfortable and demanding: I believe God wants me to. When I say that ‘church is boring’ I am not being precise. Not every aspect of church is boring. I enjoy the friends I see at church. I enjoy singing some of the hymns. I like being with family. I have fond childhood memories of sitting with my father holding his hands at church. My mom would rub my back and make the time more bearable. Perhaps most importantly I have had many joyful and extremely important spiritual moments at church, times when I have felt God’s Spirit comfort me and testify to me good things that I can believe.

HIGH: For example, most recently Father in heaven answered my prayers by showing me a powerful way to find more glory at church. He asked me do something small and simple. He led me to ponder on the many opportunities that I have forgone in favor of attending church. Then He prompted me to calculate how many hours I have spent at church and in church-related activities. I was amazed! My conservative estimate is that I have spent just under twenty-thousand hours, so far.

The Lord now instructs me to confess that which I have sacrificed in His holy name. He wants me to be specific in naming things that I could have achieved (especially those things that would delight me and bring accolades from my society) had I not chosen the ‘better part.’ This reverse testimony reveals (implies) the glory that is (must be) hidden at church.

Here is my testimony, here is my witness.

• I believe that had I chosen to practice music instead of going to church, I could at this very moment sing, play the piano, guitar and drums at a level of expertise that would approximate the skill level of some of my favorite rock stars and performers. I confess too that on almost any Sunday I would have had more fun and found more societal approval by gaining such music skills.

• I testify that I could have spent more time with my children (playing ball, swimming, camping, hanging-out) instead of going to church.

• I could have spent more time with my spouse than I have, dating, playing, reading good books together, working on our relationship, etc.

• I could have earned well over a quarter million dollars by working instead of attending church.

• More to come…