When we are in-season, life is CRAZY! I recently realized it is usually around Halloween that I feel myself growing weary from the weeks and months of go go go that we coaching families experience during the season. If your sport is in the Winter, that might be more like February. If you're a spring sport, that might be April or May...just that point in the season where you've been pushing so hard, the end is in sight, but you've also still got a ways to go.
Been there?? That's definitely where I'm at right now.
I remember in previous years I would skip church during football season and watch it at home. And looking back, I definitely think there is a time for that, and times where that extra rest is needed, but I don't think it was what I needed.
I would watch church at home during the season for a number of reasons.
1. I didn't want to go to church by myself.
2. I was exhausted from giving it my all in the stands the day before at a game.
3. I was depressed from a loss (or a string of losses) and I just wanted to throw myself a pity party with Dunkin Donuts and Netflix (if I'm being really honest).
4. It had been a long week and I just wanted that time for me.
While none of these reasons are bad (except for maybe the pity party one), looking back I know that's not what I needed.
Now that we have a church that we are really plugged in to, I'm able to see the benefits of going to church during those busy seasons of life, bringing God my tired, and allowing Him to meet me where I am.
Now days I'm not only attending church on Sundays, but serving as well. And while it can be really tough to wake up some mornings after getting home late from a game, I know that people are counting on me to be there, and God will use me to help bring other people into a relationship with Him. My Sunday mornings are so much more fulfilling when I get up to spend time with my friends at church and we can worship God together for all that He has gotten us through for that week, that season, and that year.
I'm going to break down some arguments for not attending church during the busy seasons of life and offer some insight into why that may not be the best reason to skip...and there is no judgment from me in this because these are literally the reasons I have given for not going to church in those busy seasons of life!
1. You don't want to go to church by yourself
If your reason for not going is because you don't want to go alone, girl have I been there! I get it. Your husband works every Sunday morning. You might have moved to this community right before football season and you didn't have a chance to find a church together. Or maybe the two of you have found a church that you liked, but you haven't gotten to meet anyone or make real friends yet. This was probably my main reason for not wanting to go to church during the season. But the thing is...the best way to meet those people and make those friends is by putting yourself in a place where you can make those connections. For me, that happens best through serving and/or finding a small group to get plugged into. More than likely, some of the people you meet are also coming to church by themselves and they are looking for a friend just like you are!
2. You're exhausted from giving it your all at the game that weekend
Game day is stressful for us coach wives. I don't even have kids and I'm always exhausted after a game because of how hard I was cheering, or how anxious I was making myself from worrying about what the outcome of the game would be. There are still some days when it's time to set the alarm for Sunday morning and the thought crosses my mind to try to sleep in a little...
Something that I have found though, is that it re-energizes me. It gives me purpose. It's the best way I could start out my week, and the same goes for you! I have also tried to do a better job of keeping my Sunday afternoons free so I can take a nap if I feel like I need that. Sometimes knowing that a nap is coming is what helps get me out of bed on those mornings when I don't feel like it.
3. You're depressed from a rough game or a rough season and just want to eat donuts all day by yourself.
Definitely been there. In fact, that was just about every Sunday morning for me during our last season at Mizzou...it was rough! But you know what didn't help relieve my depression on those days and during those seasons? Skipping church and eating donuts and watching Netflix. That only contributed to the depression. You know what probably would have helped? Getting out of the house, surrounding myself with like-minded people, getting my mind off of myself, and worshipping God with His people.
4. It's been a long week and you just want that time for yourself
I get that. You've spent the whole week giving of yourself and sometimes you just want to be a little selfish with your time. If you've been in church for a period of time, you might have heard about the concept of the tithe. If not, it's giving God 10% of your income (even though 100% of it came from Him). God can and does do more with that 10% than you can with your 90%. I believe that can be true with your time as well. By giving him a small percentage of your time, He can and will multiply that back to you.
And like I said in point #2, you can still make that time for yourself later in the day, because rest and self-care are definitely important!
I mean, look how much fun we're having! I have met and become friends with these ladies
through serving at our church.
All this to say, I'm not saying that watching church at home or skipping it completely during the busy seasons of life is wrong. Sometimes there is a time and place for that. But in my experience, it has been so much more fulfilling when I bring God my tired, allow Him to meet me where I am, and allow His grace to wash over me in that busy season of life. I also believe that bringing God that small portion of time (like in the concept of the tithe) gives Him the opportunity to multiply that back to us. Not by adding an extra hour to the day, but making your time more productive or giving you more restful rest than if we were to try to do it all on our own.