Psalm 84:10 – Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (NIV)
It was one of those Sunday mornings when I was tempted to stay home. A small spiritual battle was taking place, like a tug-of-war. A pretext lifted its ugly head, and it was a fight.
I had recently moved from country to city and was looking for a place of worship within walking distance. The city map showed churches each marked with a cross. Using the Internet, Google showed the church sites in the city. Soon, I was heading to one a few blocks away.
I found myself asking whether I would fit in, or whether the church would fit in to my peculiar thoughts.
I enjoyed the walk in the wintry morning, with my cane swinging rhythmically with my steps. The crisp air unfastened any negative thinking pattern I had been faced with just a while before. The streets were quiet; the city as if asleep.
Then I could hear church bells boom into the air, summoning with an invitation the people in the city. I listened to the sounds pealing around me, and wondered how many others were touched by the bells' melody.
I found the street where the church was located, and an open door confirmed a welcome.
I was glad to walk into the house of God where people had gathered. The service began with the choir entering the sanctuary. I found myself counting the numbers, and when the choir sang, I smiled, thinking, "Is this not a choir from heaven? Is there such a choir in heaven?" How much I would have missed if I had given in to the temptation to stay home.
As it turned out, my walk to church, the hour there, and the walk back home were a spiritual cane lifting my steps. I was able to be grateful for the lesson: one hour in God's house is better than thousand elsewhere.
Prayer: God in Your holy temple, thank You for Your people, church bells, and choirs — a taste of heaven and of Your presence. Thank You that we fit in because of Jesus. Thank You for Your open arms. Thank You for Your kingdom and Your saving grace! Amen.