The time had come. Our first church outing was here! We would be attending Commonwealth Chapel with our dear friends Katrina and Eric Young. I really admire them for their faith and their genuine interest and support in our quest to find a church. I knew this would be a great start!
In the weeks prior one of my main concerns was.....what will I wear??? Now, of course there were other thoughts (where is my bible? How early will I need to get up?) but I was having a true church fashion emergency. Growing up I had a steady rotation of Jessica McClintock dresses I wore to church. As I looked through my four closets (yes, four!) I realized I don't have a lot of dresses appropriate for church. I don't think wearing the shiny one shoulder hot pink dress would make the first impression I was looking for. Nor did I think the congregation would appreciate my sequined party dress. And I knew wearing my blue BCBG dress, which I was wearing when a friend and I were approached and told "if you've got it, flaunt it" would be a big N-O. My closet was screaming "let's party", when what I was going for was "let's pray". After much digging, I finally found something that would work. It wasn't the cutest or most comfortable dress I owned but it would do, and in the meantime I would send an email to my J.Crew personal shopper that instead of outfits for trips, I need dresses for church!
Texting with Katrina prior to the service, she assured me the dress was casual. Also that the seats were plastic and that the service was over an hour (I guess people did pay attention to that first blog that I posted with our "criteria"). Laura picked me up and we headed over to Eric and Katrina's house, where we then made our way to Commonwealth Chapel at The National. I actually had never been to The National, so I had no idea what to expect. As we grabbed our seats, the second thing I noticed (the first being how extremely tall I feel next to Tiny Lane aka Laura) was there was a full on rock band set up on the stage. And this was not left over from the previous nights concert, this was for church! As they started to sing, I quickly got into it - they were amazing! I don't know if it was the setting or the drums, but if I owned a lighter I think I would have had the urge to pull it out and hold it up...Maybe break out a little air guitar? Don't worry, I didn't :) Since I was unfamiliar with the songs I really paid attention to the lyrics and realized I wasn't going to miss my trusty hymns as much as I thought I would.
Next, came the message. This was the true test. As a natural born daydreamer I have found this ability to be both a blessing and a curse. Many a church service I have attended with the honest intention to pay attention, only for my mind to wander off to other topics before I even realized it did. Next thing you know, church is over and I have spent 30 minutes thinking about where i should go on vacation next. This message was based on some verses from the book of Haggai. Have you heard of this book? I have to admit, it was not familiar at all. To quote the program "Haggai is a call to the people to exchange their self centered living for a life centered on the glory of God". Wait a minute - did they know I was coming? Because I believe this message was written just for me! What is going on? Oops, that sounds self centered. But seriously I truly related....the pastor was saying the focus doesn't need to be all about you, that living for Gods glory frees us from having to be the center of the universe. Before I knew it, the sermon was over and I had payed attention the entire time. Not only that, I felt I had understood and learned something. Upon meeting the pastor, I wanted to tell him that he had done what no one else had done before him, had me involved in the message from start to finish. Instead I told him, while looking at an adorable infant dressed in a fuzzy bear snowsuit, that I would totally wear that as an adult as I was so cold.
Hopefully the next message I listen to will include how to prioritize the thoughts you share....