Saturday, July 3, 2010

Should we stay or should we go?

The kids and I hadn't been to noon Mass since last summer.  I typically don't like going to this Mass, because the church echoes everything, and I feel like one movement by one child sounds like a million distractions.  To add a bit of fuel to the fire, it was going to be noon and we were about to bring a tired baby and toddler, a couple active preschoolers and 5 other kids who usually do well, but still have movable parts, and need to be reminded to keep their hands and feet to themselves. Well, I gave in and decided to give it another try.  All the while thinking, why am I setting myself up for punishment, yet praying that it would go well.

On the way, we hit every red light possible.  Then got stuck behind a semi unloading in single lane traffic downtown. As I kept looking at the clock, all I could think was, well, we're late now, we might as well not go.  After saying that so many times in my head, I think it slipped out once.  Then I heard the reply, "Well if you don't want to go, why are we all going!" I was getting a bit frustrated, and was seriously debating to make a detour to the library. This child was right.  Why were we going?  We were inevitably late, the timing was poor for the littles, the bigs didn't want to be there, and I was beginning to think it's not worth the effort to distract everyone coming in nearly ten minutes late with an apathetic brood. But I kept going.

I drove by the church to pull into the parking lot, only to notice that the lot was being resurfaced.  Guess we were not going to park there.  In my head, that was my out to turn around and go home.  I thought, 'Really, Lord, do You not want us here either?' I wrestled with what to do. We were late.  It's not worth it. But I really do want to visit, and the kids, well, they are kids; learning what is good for them.  I pulled into another lot, parked and calmly reminded the kids we had to be quick and quiet.  For the first time in his young life, my two year old whispers back, "Like this mom." That was all the consolation I needed.  With a smile, a prayer and a welled up eye, we went in.

Mass was beautiful, the kids were exceptionally well behaved. I was overwhelmed with amazement. God graced us: our poor, weak selves were overtaken by his gentle, loving strength. You see, He does want us there, and even though we have stop signs, blocked paths and resistance on the road, He is ready to love us and allows us to abide in Him, and He with us. We need only to show the effort and He'll come in to complete us; rescuing us from our wretched ways. It reminds me of the the song "Set the World on Fire" by Britt Nicole:

I wanna set the world on fire
Until it's burning bright for You
It's everything that I desire
Can I be the one You use?

I, I am small but
You, You are big enough
I, I am weak but
You, You are strong enough to
Take my dreams
Come and give them wings
Lord with You
Nothing I can not do
Nothing I cannot do

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