I did it, I finally went to church!
Since I moved out here last September, I kept telling myself that one of my goals would be to find a church out here in southern California to go to.
It took an entire year for me to make my way back into a church and it’s because unfortunately, I didn’t prioritize it as I should have. Things would come up, whether it be plans to hang out with friends, dates, or just sleeping in. And when I did have free time, I guess it was fear that was preventing me from going to church. Scared of going by myself, scared of not knowing what to expect, scared of possibly feeling excluded? All of these are just a few examples of the many irrational fears that would run through my head.
Anyway, a few weeks ago, I asked my friend Ian to go to church with me, and he agreed. He even suggested that we go ‘church-hopping’ to find one we would like best. The next couple of weeks he did actually end up going to church but I was still ‘too busy’ with doing my own thing to tag along. What ultimately convinced me to go back to church was when I got into the topic of Christianity and miracles with another friend of mine last week. This conversation reignited the curiosity and desire in me to learn more about God. By the end of our talk, he invited me & Ian to join him & his friends at a local church that following Sunday, September 16th at 11:00AM.
Sunday morning, as bad as it sounds, I caught myself trying to come up with excuses to not go. I had gotten up extra early to meet up with my friend Hong at a local coffee shop to work on our blogs. I called Ian to confirm that he was still planning on meeting at the church. He wasn’t responding to any of my calls so I was trying to contemplate if I would still go if he bailed. I was thinking that if Ian wasn’t going to go, then maybe I’ll just continue to work on my blog with Hong.
Thankfully, he picked up his phone and confirmed he was going to meet me there. As I was pulling into the church, I saw that the parking lot was pretty vacant and noticed a sign that said they had sermons in Spanish at 11:00AM. I tried to use both of these observations as excuses to tell myself maybe it wasn’t a good idea for me to go after all. I was trying to tell myself that maybe the parking lot was empty because I missed the sermon, or maybe the sermon was going to be in Spanish so I wouldn’t be able to understand it. This shows just how much of an influence fear can have in your life if you allow it. If I had let my fear take over, I wouldn’t have been able to experience the wonderful sermon presented that day.
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14
The message of this sermon was to demonstrate the importance of serving and giving back to others. With the verses John 13:1-18, the pastor explained that when none of the disciples were willing to wash their own feet, Jesus got down on His own knees and washed each disciples’ feet one by one, despite the fact that He is their Lord and Teacher.
The pastor also discussed the story of when PepsiCo’s CEO, Indra Nooyi, first got promoted to her CEO position. As Indra was about to tell her mother the great news, her mother stopped her to tell her to go grab some milk from the store. When Indra came back home from the store, she was furious. She slammed the milk on the table and told her mom that the amazing news she wanted to present to her was that she just got promoted to the position of CEO at PepsiCo, but instead, her mom made her go get some milk from the store. Her mom’s response? She told Indra to leave her crown at the door. She may be the CEO when she is at work, but when she gets home, she has to leave that pride, ego, and professional title at the door.
The takeaway message is this: it doesn’t matter your job title, accomplishments, or academic degrees; you’re never too busy/important to serve.
Be the type of person who enters a room and thinks: “How can I serve? How do I make a difference in someone’s life?” It could be something as simple as smiling at a stranger, holding the door open for the person behind you, or maybe taking time out of your week to volunteer at a local nursing home. Remember this: serving not only impacts the life of the person you’re serving, but it changes your life as well.
So friends, I hope that you’ll go out & make a difference in someone’s life today : )