dimanche 24 février 2008

Sunday afternoons

There is something so freeing and wonderful about Sunday afternoons, especially after I get back from church in the morning. It's as if the whole day is welcome to any number of possibilities. In high school, a friend and I would go to one of the local Italian restaurants after church; I always ordered the same dish (still do) and it got to the point where the staff would recognize us and even know what I was going to order. That was a nice feeling and a comforting routine, which usually led to other fun activities following the meal.

In college, my schedule was much more sporadic and so I would usually switch between service times from week to week. When I used to work at the library, I would attend church on Saturday nights, which would mean cheesecake afterwards every once in a while. As much as this made for yummy (and fattening) times, I still preferred going to church on Sundays - Sundays feel light and open for some reason. I ended up going on Sunday evenings for a while so that I could meet up with some friends but there's something disheartening about getting out of church and it being pitch-black outside. It just makes me want to curl up and wish that it was the beginning of the weekend rather than the end of it. The darkness leaves me with no motivation to face the upcoming week (granted, this mostly pertains to the wintertime with the shorter hours of daylight).

So I've decided to go back to church on Sunday mornings once again. Personally, I love, love, love the earlier service because of the hymns and the traditional feel but while I'm in school, I have the absolute hardest time getting up in time for it - much less the later service! Summer is fantastic for the early service because I can miraculously get up early and enjoy the whole day of sunshine. Another reason I like early Sunday mornings is because of the lack of traffic, allowing me to belt out worship songs at the top of my lungs to the radio (bad image/sound, I know) and not having curious drivers look at me while I do so. Actually, I still do this even though I attend the later morning service and the roads are more crowded ;)

I guess what I love most about leaving church while it's gorgeous and bright outside is seeing the sky reflect the state of my soul and how it feels so refreshed after feeding on the Word of God. (And yes, we do have the most number of sunny days year-round in all of Canada, so this analogy pans out). I walk out of church with an air of lightness; if it wasn't for the number of people who go to this service, I'd practically skip out of the doors (hmm, is there a correlation between my attitude and the colour of the sky?!).

And since there are usually few concrete plans for these lazy afternoons, I can do whatever strikes my mood each Sunday. I can go home and take an afternoon nap. I can go out to lunch with a friend. I can go to a bookstore and content myself with browsing the shelves. I can dive into a book that I've just borrowed from the church library. I can clean my room and get a fresh start to the week. I can go for a walk in different parts of the city or leave the city. I can finally catch up on emails, although this can sometimes be more of a chore than a fun task. I can also decide to do homework if I so choose :)

As for this Sunday afternoon, I've wasted enough time on the internet. I'm going to finish clearing out my church bulletins (yes, I am guilty of having saved every single one from each church I've been to in my life and am now removing some of the bulletin inserts to make room for more bulletins - what a sad confession for an unclutterer), crack open a fun book, look over one of my courses and watch the conclusion to Pride and Prejudice on Masterpiece tonight. What a fun Sunday; what a good God who has given us rest and fun and a chance to do something different from all the other days of the week!

My only wish? That Sunday afternoons lasted much, much longer. I'm definitely looking forward to the eternal rest of God that He promises to His people. For more about resting and delighting in Sunday afternoons (or any other time/day of the week), I recommend The Rest of God. I finished this last week and it was such a pleasure to read.

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