Sunday, November 17, 2013

Grouchy Sunday

Spoiler Alert: The following account includes sinful thoughts and behavior.

Today I was irritable. And I wanted to be. There were many reasons--good reasons, I assured myself--to be a touch on the grouchy side; the "look at me wrong and I'll take you out" side of life. Oh, boy.

It was wrong. Selfish. Felt a little too cozy and self-indulgent. And I didn't want to tell anyone because that would ruin the mood. Telling others is nowhere near as fun as grousing, grumbling and scowling. Besides, admitting I was grouchy would confirm the conviction squirming deep in my soul that demanded repentance. Change. And that's what I didn't want--change. I wanted to be mad and stomp my foot and tell everyone how much better life would be if they followed MY plan.

So, I did my best to stay in the foyer during Sunday school--a lesson on gratitude certainly didn't serve my plan and purpose. But, somehow, I ended up in the pew; struggling, praying, grumbling. And reading Scripture and wanting to disagree. Just because. So I prayed that God would keep my mouth shut. When someone else made a comment sweetly and succinctly I wanted to roll my eyes and spit. Just because. Because it was so right and was offered so well. I prayed harder for God to keep my mouth shut; folded my hands in my lap, tilted my head and did my best to look pious.

Phew. End of Sunday school. Mercifully, time was passing. We sang. We listened. I prayed for a change of heart. I wondered how I could gracefully leave and wrangle my way out of today's potluck but didn't have a good enough excuse. So I sat. And listened. And took notes. And remembered that it's not about me, after all.

After the service when friends said "Hello. How are you?" I honestly replied, "I was grumpy when we came. And this is still wrong and that is still a struggle, but praise God, I'm feeling much better!"

So we stayed for the meal and more singing and more Scripture. We visited with friends new and old over a wonderful meal, complete with cherry pie. And, phew, life is so much better. Good thing it's not all about me, 'cause if it was, well.... I'd rather not think about it.

"How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

"Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Selah
"Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;  give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

"O God, behold our shield, and look upon the face of Your anointed.
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!"
Psalm 84 NKJV

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