Sunday God

I grew up with a Sunday God.  We were a family of faithful churchgoers complete with a favorite pew. We socialized and made business contacts, gave to the building fund and prayed for others.  We attended Sunday school and participated in church dinners.  These activities were done on site.

This Sunday God did not visit my house during the week. There was no prayer or scripture reading, no talk of missionaries or service work.  This God lived at church and we visited Him on Sunday.

We dressed up for God.  Washed and pressed, we appeared our best.  We put a smile on our faces no matter what occurred during the week.  We prayed for Uncle Bill’s job and Aunt Sue’s cat, but not the real issues at our house.  Shame and pride hid the struggles of everyday life.

We were outside Christians with hidden insides.

Things began to rattle and roll at home.  Events occurred that could no longer be hidden.  Desperation set in – mostly on my part. Things weren’t going as planned.  Life had turned in so many ways I no longer knew which end was up.  I needed help, direction, and advice to make things work.

Drowning in panic and desperation I cried out to God.  I prayed – prayers that were scared, not thankful.  I needed help in a way I never had before.  I needed a savior.

At twenty I accepted Christ as my savior.  For many years I had my own version of a Sunday God.  Attending church, one similar to the one I grew up in, I warmed the pew each week.  By then Honeydo was with me and he began to want something more.  What more was, he wasn’t quite sure, but he knew this Sunday God was not enough.

And so began a lifelong journey.  After corresponding with a college friend, we ended up at a retreat center in New Mexico.  Upon returning home we changed churches and began to meet an Everyday God.

People in this church were transparent with their difficulties.  Sharing each other’s sorrow and pain we became better for it.  We trusted and believed God was present and working.  We joined a small group and saw others strive to live life with God in equally imperfect ways.  We became parents and knew we needed God even more.

Prayer and scripture, retreats and conferences, books and fellowship have continued to light our path.  How can I live the abundant life God offers?  By seeking to know God more intimately, by delving into the mystery of who He is, by wrestling with God over issues that are difficult, and by knowing His answers might not be mine, I am learning to have an authentic relationship with an Everyday God.

Becoming authentic with God can seem like risky business.  But I have found it is a risk well worth taking.