We come in, often just a couple of minutes late, even though I can’t stand being late. We sit with my family near the front, even though my husband prefers to be in the back. It’s a continual source of disagreement but mostly it’s for the kids who are desperate to see their cousins and grandparents. Then the long slog begins. I used to love Sunday morning worship and then my third born turned two. It has been a struggle since my second born could run and even at five he cannot control the volume of his voice or still his movements for more than a few seconds. Now his two year old brother adds his high pitched scream and flailing, chubby toddler limbs to the usual routine.
There are definitely Sundays when I wonder why I do it. It would truly be easier to stay home. Or for my husband and I to take turns coming solo. But I also know we are lucky enough to be part of a family church. While ours may be more boisterous than most, kids and all the trappings that come with them have always been part of our church DNA. For the most part, I choose not to be embarrassed when I have to drag child into the foyer or at the plethora of crayons I pick up off the floor at the end of the service
This is what worship looks like for me. It is rarely peaceful, fully focused or engaged experience. It is punctuated by interruption. Sometimes I wonder why I’m there at all. But it feels right to gather together, even if I know, in theory. I can experience God at home alone. I want to set an example to my kids, that maybe when they are older they will remember that it was important to me and I’ll be able to tell them that no matter the inconvenience Jesus is worth it. Am I always sure of this? No, but I still believe it’s true.