There was always room for a relative or two on Sunday? It was just a matter of being prepared to receive whomever at whatever hour. How about God? My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
Sundays were a very different time for me growing up. People went to church, of course. Since there were no alternative services on Saturday, Thursday or Monday like today, most people went to church on Sunday. The exception being Wednesdays during the Advent and Lenten festival times of the year. Of course, in that case, you were expected to attend twice in a week. The other major difference about Sundays was that people took Sunday drives out in the country. We lived in the country, so relatives who lived in the city would get into the old Studebaker, venture out on Highway 16, and drive to our house in Hartland for a Sunday visit. These visits were always unplanned. There was no itinerary to share with those destined to be visited. It wasn’t considered impolite to just stop by on a Sunday. People expected that someone might stop since it was Sunday and there were folks out driving around. My Mom always had to make sure that the house was in order, swept and tidy, because someone might stop by, especially if it was a nice day and it was Sunday.
There was always room for a relative or two on Sunday. It was just a matter of being prepared to receive whomever at whatever hour. How about God? Are we thus prepared to receive him on a daily basis?
Here’s a story: The early church leader Augustine was once accosted by a heathen who showed him his idol and said, “Here is my god; where is thine? See, touch it and hold it. It is very real. I always know where it is and I can retrieve it in an instance.” He replaced it into the pocket of his robe. “My God is dependable because I keep it here, right where I need it. Can you say that of your God?” Augustine replied, “I cannot show you my God; not because there is no God to show but because you have no eyes to see Him; nor is there enough room in my pocket to contain him.” (Unknown.)
My Mom kept the house tidy and in order so that guests could be received on Sundays should they show up. I can still remember peering out our picture window overlooking Highland Avenue and seeing a car pull up into our driveway. “Somebody’s here. I think it is Uncle and Aunt so-and-so.” There was a weekend routine to keep in that regard. Sunday afternoons might bring guests, unexpected ones, so there needed to be room not only in our house but in our hearts for those Sunday drivers who might be just driving around. Similarly, you and I ought always to keep our hearts and lives open to God, in constant contact with him spiritually, because we never really know when he might be venturing into our lives for an unplanned divine visit, one he hasn’t characteristically called ahead to announce. Our God is a god that has no place in our pocket, for there isn’t sufficient room for him to dwell captive in our lives. He comes and goes like my Aunt and Uncle in their Studebaker. All of a sudden he pulls into the driveway of our heart and he’s there, ready to visit for a while. We need to stay prepared because every day is Sunday for God. He lives on that highway between heaven and here, and you just don’t know when he may be stopping by.
We pray. Sometimes Lord we like the feel of having you in our pocket–predictable and safely kept. It’s easier for us when we know your timing and can predict your visits in our lives. Forgive us Father when we restrict you to our own definition of what we want you to be. Help us always to be prepared for the unexpected, the largeness and the smallness of you, as you venture in and out of our lives. May there always be room in our lives for you, anytime and any place, dear Father. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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