It is 3 o clock in the morning and my bedroom is filled with a mix of cacophonous noises. There is a scream that sounds like somebody is being murdered, mixed with sounds of gunshots and crying. Don’t worry, nobody is being killed. My son just pooped his diaper and his explosive diarrhea has once again left me to come clean up his mess.
On May 1st, my wife, Susan, gave birth to our first born child, Zachary. Ever since that day, my life has changed in many ways. Yes, I am overwhelmed with the joy and responsibilities of fatherhood. But the main task I perform on a daily basis is changing diapers. You see, my wife has to constantly nurse every 1.5-2 hours. Obviously, I cannot give milk, so the next best thing I could do to help my wife is to change Zach’s diapers. During those times when I might want to pretend I am “sleeping” so I don’t have to get up once again, I am reminded of worship.
This past January, I went through a sermon series about worship. One of the main points of this series was to explain how worship is not just about what we do on Sunday mornings but about who we are everyday of the week. Most of my life, I thought that you went to church to worship. But now I see that the better approach is that we go to church as worshippers. We gather together to worship God on Sundays and then scatter the rest of the week to worship Him wherever He has placed us. We were not designed to operate on a weekly worship cycle but rather to run on a 24/7 worship lifestyle.
To break this down for you, there are 10,080 minutes in a week. We spend about 75 minutes on Sunday mornings here at The Bridge. That means that the time we worship on Sundays makes up only 7/10 of one percent of the week. This translates to 99.3 percent of one’s life being spent outside of the church walls on Sunday morning. So, do you think God only cares about .7% of your life or the other 99.3% of your life spent outside of Sunday mornings? This means that worship is not simply about singing songs and listening to a sermon on Sunday mornings. It is also about the “mundane” time spent buying groceries, cutting the lawn or changing diapers.
As a pastor, it is easy to dichotomize my life. I can easily fall into the trap thinking that time spent on sermon preparation and preaching is somehow “holier” than the time I spent changing diapers. However, God does not view my life this way. He considers the task of changing diapers just as important as preaching a sermon because I am called to worship God in every arena of life. He cares about how we worship him when we work. He cares about how we worship him when we sleep. He cares about how we worship him when we play basketball. He cares about how we worship him when we shop. And yes, he cares about how we worship him when we change a screaming baby’s diaper. God does not want people who go to worship services. God wants people who are worshippers.
There was a story of a pig and a chicken walking down the road together. They come upon a sign advertising a breakfast to benefit the poor. The chicken said to the pig: “We should donate to that worthy cause. How about if I give an egg and you provide the ham?” To which the pig replied, “Not so fast. For you that would be a contribution, but for me it would be a total commitment.” Too many of us have made some contributions but we resist total commitment in worship. God doesn’t want contributions; he wants total commitment.
So tonight when I hear the sounds of my son screaming, farting and crying at 3AM, instead of hearing a cacophonous mix of despair, I will choose to hear the beautiful sounds of worship. Instead of looking for ways to get out of diaper duty, I will choose to view this as an opportunity to give glory to God. And the next time you are tempted to dichotomize your life between the secular and the sacred, remember that God cares about the 99.7% of your life outside of Sunday mornings as well. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:31 – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.