I rarely set an alarm. When you routinely wake up at 4:00 or 5:00 am, you don’t really need to. Between changing time zones this past week and not sleeping well in general, I was worn out last night when I went to bed, but I still didn’t see any reason to set an alarm.
Well, I slept till 9:00 am, which is insanely late for me. I sat down with a cup of coffee and was taking my good, old, sweet, time waking up. Paul came down and asked if I was going to church today. I said, “No. Church starts in 20 minutes, I don’t have time to get ready.“ I thought that was pretty obvious since I was sitting there looking like I had been beaten up and with my hair standing on end.
Paul looked at me and said “You should go. You know how much you enjoy it and how happy you are when you do.“ And then he said five little words, “You should make the effort.“ He went on to explain, “You know you hate it when people don’t make enough of an effort.“
And he was right. I hate it when people don’t make an effort. When it’s easier to just say no. Know, please know – I have done that. Many times. And I know there are absolutely times when you just don’t want to go somewhere or do something. And there are times when you need rest more than anything else. In those times it is both right and wise to say no.
But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about when you say no to dinner with friends because it’s easier to put on pajamas and eat in front of the TV. When it’s easier to drink another cup of coffee on Sunday morning instead of going to church or even just brunch with friends.
Physics tells us that a body in motion remains in motion unless acted upon, and a body at rest remains at rest, unless acted upon. Because humans need both activity and rest it’s hard to find a balance. There are people who can't quit working or slow down, and there are people who can’t get a move on. We have to be aware of our habits, and we have to make the effort.
So this morning I made it to church on time. I was not looking my best, and I’m pretty sure I heard a couple of scared kids whimper as I walked by. But I’m so glad I made the effort.
One of my good friends, Michele, was honored today for the work she does at Saint Francis (which means she holds the place together), a group of people made a big effort to find ways to thank her and the rest of us made a big effort to maintain the surprise for her because we benefit from the effort she puts forth every day.
I left church today the way I normally do - with a smile on my face, happy I had made the effort.