I would make an absolutely terrible teacher. I am uncomfortable speaking in front of people, I panic if I am expected to think on the spot, and I can never seem to spew out of my mouth the thoughts that are floating around in my head. When I speak unscripted I sound like a bumbling idiot!
Needless to say, when I am asked to lead a meeting, or lead an adult study class, my palms get sweaty, my heart rate increases, and I start to plot out what reason I’ll pick to say no!
The good news for me is that my husband is a teacher and quite comfortable leading a group. So, when we are asked to lead an adult education class at church together I jump at the idea. As class leaders, we get extra time to study the material and discuss together at home. This develops conversations at home we might not have had otherwise. I get the benefit of this extra devotion time. My husband gets the hard job – figuring out what to say to a group of people!
Our weekly class on Faith Practices has remained quite small. Selfishly, I’m OK with that. It is much easier for me to be “real.” Yet even with our small group, the conversation has been great!
Week 3 – Worship
The faith practice for our group this week was worship. Is worship still “butt-numbingly dull” as you might have experienced in your youth? Have you experienced worship outside of a church? What else might you worship in your life? The study book defined worship as “worthiness” and that “we worship something when we deem it worthy of our time and attention.” Our small group was stuck on this definition. We understood the point the book wanted to make – our society “worships” a lot of unworthy things. But we considered how time with our spouse and with our children is worthy of our time and attention, yet we do not think we “worship” our families.
Outside of class, I was able to think about this more. Family time is certainly worthy of time and attention, yet can (and should) also be a time of worship to God.
I did not go through the study book questions with my son this week. In a forced conversation, it might have been difficult to move beyond the definition of “worship” as something other than what we do at church every Sunday morning. (That was hard for us grown-ups, too.) Thankfully, I have an even better moment to share. My son and I shared an awesome conversation which was open, honest and faith-filled, and I believe a worshipful experience for both of us.
Now that the weather is nice, I take advantage of sunny days to walk the 1 mile to church, and my 6-year-old will usually join me. Last Wednesday we walked together, shared stories of our day, and we had an important conversation. My son had made bad decisions at school that day. He was in tears, and reluctant to tell me the whole story. I withheld anger and tried to be understanding and helpful; show that it is safe to come to me with problems. We had a sincere conversation about what had happened, and considered ways to make better choices in the future. We talked about showing God’s love, and letting God control your actions; to always be aware that God is with you. I said making mistakes is normal; mom and dad make mistakes. It is learning from our mistakes that helps us learn and grow. We prayed.
When we had first started to talk, I gave the conversation to God. I asked for help to be a good mom and find the right words to both encourage my son and to help him learn from his mistakes. I admitted in the first paragraph of this post that impromptu speaking makes me a bumbling idiot – but I’ll say with thanksgiving that in this particular conversation the words were there. This was not my own doing!
I don’t think I can perfectly explain what made this walk so wonderful – but I know God was present, and I felt a deep connection between God, myself and my son.
This experience was a reminder that in all we do – whatever we deem worthy of our time and attention – God should be there too. Whether it be parenting, work, school, pleasure, even eating (see Food and Faith).
To say it another way, if you can’t bring God into what you are doing, it is certainly NOT worthy of your time!
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16-17