“I’ll be there between 2 and 5.” How many times have we heard those words in a time of need? The AC, refrigerator, cable tv, plumbing, etc. is broken, and so are our patience. The repair technician is on the way, but suddenly all kinds of ungodly things go through our minds. And look out if he shows up at 5:05! We know what we want, and we want it fixed now! We have a “normal” we desperately want to return to. We have an idea of what is “supposed” to happen. We have expectations.
I wonder--do we sometimes bring this same mindset, these same “expectations” into worship? Do we expect God to show up promptly between 11 and 12? Do we expect everything that’s wrong to be fixed quickly and at a reasonable price? What happens when we have to wait?
And what of our expectations of our fellow church members? We’re here waiting on God, and someone does the wrong thing, says the wrong thing, or doesn’t do/say the right thing. What happens to our attitudes toward our Christian brothers and sisters?
It’s a wonder we’re ever able to worship with all that’s going through our minds. But somehow we find a way to wait on God. Somehow we find a way to forgive. But I know I can do better.
It doesn’t often happen, but something spoke to me on Facebook this week as I was fighting insomnia late one night:
It made think of a book I used to teach: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” ~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird. It seems like empathy and the service industry don’t mix, but I certainly hope that empathy goes hand-in-hand with worship, and that we can “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15, ESV), and “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32, ESV).