I went to church today - sort of. I went but I didn't go in. I've done this three times during the last four weeks. I go with my wife and kids. My wife goes to the service, my kids go to their class, and I sit outside and read the Psalms. I'm up to Psalm 65 now.
I'm not sure why I'm doing this, except that for a long time now, the services have just left me flat. I go to church to worship God and commune with him, and it hasn't really been happening. I think it's happening for other people - my wife, for example - but not for me. So I sit outside and read Psalms.
And you know what? I'm coming away from it really deeply refreshed!
It is interesting to see David in these psalms. David crying over his sins. David proclaiming his innocence. David asking God to avenge him. David complaining that God has abandoned him. David rejoicing in God. It's David all over the place, just like us, and each Sunday God seems to speak through these words to my heart. Today I was really struck by Psalm 42:11:
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
I was a bit droopy this morning, and David's heart echoed mine and added that note of hope: "For I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." Amen!
I'm well aware of the admonition in the book of Hebrews not to abandon meeting together with other believers, and I do meet with friends. I'm not trying to be rebellious, I just want to connect better with God, and that seems to be happening in this way.
I've thought that I could do this at home, but there's always something distracting at home. This hour is totally devoted to God, there's nobody around, the weather is warm, and I'm having a great time, though the activity seems a bit odd and I'm not sure for how long I'll do it.