The timer starts ticking at least two hours in advance. But every week, it's some new obstacle to overcome so I can make the short 8-minute drive to meet with God's people.
And I'm not talking about normal obstacles like the students who call as I'm walking out the door. Or the husband whose job usually chooses Wednesday to have a last-minute crisis so he has to meet us at church. Or the twins' poopy diapers that always seem to occur 5 minutes before time to leave. Or all the children's shoes that I have to put on sometimes 2 or 3 times just so they can pull them off again on the ride there.
Or the two-year old who has been saying all week that his stomach hurts and his back hurts--the only two ailments he's known grownups to have. Tonight's award-winning performance included him telling me his teeth were broken (this is a new one) and "We not go to church! That ridiculous!" His answer to "Stop whining or go to your room" was, "But I want to whine." That I believe.
Nothing this mundane to overcome.
Last week it was the flying bird who decided to poop in flight...right on my shirt as I placed Emerson in his car seat. What are the odds?
Tonight, it was two huge limbs (broken during last November's unexpected 7" snowfall) smack in the dead center of my driveway. How many other days in how many other months could they have fallen? But no. So, I had to throw the van in park and drag them off to the side.
Before I had children of my own, I never understood why my mother was always complaining about being so hot she was dripping with sweat before we stepped foot outside our well-airconditioned house.But if her Sundays and Wednesdays were anything like this, now I get it.
I'm not sure if God is trying to see if I'm really dedicated, if I really want to worship Him? But by the time I plop into the pew, I feel like I've run a marathon! Then, as I listen and worship, my Spirit is filled. And when I go to pick up the children, even Wyatt bounces out of his class, telling me "I had fun."
I dare not ask what obstacle to expect next Wednesday night. But I'm thinking it might be best to just stick in my van a toolbox, chainsaw, lunchbox, extra change of clothes, and blue tarp...just in case.