Brian McKay | @RealBrianMcKay
I recently chose to skip church one Sunday.
I didn't have a valid reason. I mean, I was feeling confused about life, and in a way, maybe a bit discouraged. But that wasn't the main cause. I just didn't feel like going.
So, I stayed home. It was actually really nice. Usually, when I stay home from church (unfortunately, it happens more often than it should), I just play video games or something. I waste the time.
This time, though, I started listening to music, and I actually focused on the words. I listened to two songs, and in that time, I experienced one of the most worshipful moments I've had in quite some time.
I sometimes deal with doubts in my faith. I decided to listen to "Jesus, Use Me, I'm Yours." Those who know me know that I loooove Jason Gray. His lyrics hit me in a way that no one else's do. I listened to this song because I needed to speak its prayer: "I'm not much to look at, but whatever I am, I'm yours."
I also listened to Andrew Peterson's "The Dark Before the Dawn." It was actually the first time I'd heard it, and one line resonated with me strongly. He sings, "I had a dream that I was waking at the burning edge of dawn, and I could finally believe the King had loved me all along." I realized that this was another one of my problems. My biggest fear is ending up in front of God and hearing, "Ehh, I don't think so."
These two songs helped me deal with my doubt and my fear. The Jason Gray song was me giving up everything to God. No matter what else happened, no matter what questions I had, I was at the feet of Jesus, and I believed it was the best place I could be. The Andrew Peterson song was me dealing with my greatest fear and realizing (even if it was only briefly) that I could rest. These songs gave me a bit of peace.
So what's my point? First off, I am not advocating skipping church. Fellowship with other believers and learning from the elders in the faith are two things strongly preached in the Bible -- church is very important.
What I am saying, and you've probably heard it many times, is that God will meet you wherever you are. I was not in church, the place where you always think God is "supposed to" move. In the book of James, James writes, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (4:8). I believe that this is what happened.
I was sitting at home on my laptop. And God met me where I was. In a way that I hadn't experienced for a while.
To quote Jason Gray (again), it's like He was meeting me "for the first time again."
Sometimes, it just needs to be you and God. Yes, fellowship is important, but there are some who go to church three or four times a week and have no active personal relationship with God. They trick themselves into thinking they are growing because they are surrounded by believers. But, they don't surround themselves with the Spirit during the time their alone.
I know I don't spend enough alone time with God. But I'm glad I did that day. And I pray I continue to remember how important those moments are.
Brian McKay graduated from Penn State Erie with a degree in Communication. He likes working with radio, web design, and blogging. He loves narwhals, pierogies, and football. You can contact Brian on Twitter at @RealBrianMcKay (he wants to see if anyone assumes he's famous) or at reactivelyproactive.com.