When I was a student at Anderson University we had twice a week Chapel services. Attendance was taken, using your student ID number—probably the reason I still know that number today. We were “allowed” approximately 10 absences per semester. Then when I began Seminary, Chapel attendance was optional—presumably because we would all “choose” to be present in worship. Not everyone however in Seminary chose to attend worship regularly. Often people would explain why with words like, “I’m just too busy.” “I have too much to do.” “I have to finish up the assignment for class.”
One of the memorable messages from my Seminary orientation at Duke Divinity was about those times when we would think we were too busy to go to the midday worship services. The Dean reminded us that especially then…especially when we felt overwhelmed, we would be wise to take the time (one hour) to gather together and worship.
As the leaves disappear from the trees, the frost shows up each morning, and the Milwaukee winter begins to set in, we will all undoubtedly begin our literal or mental checklists. Most of us will become extremely busy with preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many of our lives will be consumed with shopping, decorating, travelling, wrapping, cooking, and managing end of year tasks at work, school, or home. But we are wise to remember…especially when we feel overwhelmed, worship forms us and orients our lives in a way that transforms us and our understanding of everything else we do. We as people living in our society are too busy not to worship. Too busy not to pray. Too busy to forget Who makes our lives possible and meaningful.
In Christ’s Peace,