I was in the sixth grade probably, and it was my second early morning pancake breakfast to hear of during a kind of revival week at the Methodist church where I was went until high school. Of course, I thought this early morning pancake type deal was BOOORRRINGG! I didn’t go the first year with my mom…. when she’d asked if I wanted to go eat at the CHURCH? at 6:30 AM BEFORE SCHOOL? Are you JOKING?
The second year, I went. Why not? Mom was going. She was going again…so whatever!
I thought it was LAME! I was sitting in that cold chair surrounded by ADULTS and no kids, much less friends. WHAT WERE WE DOING!? And all that just for PANCAKES?? Goofy, cheap, rubbery pancakes?
And then some big chubby guy gets up at the piano, and I’m thinking, this has just got to be WEIRD! He starts pounding happily on that piano …. at like 6:00 in the morning? Really?? These people must be desperate for entertainment.
I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
And he started with the simplest, cheesiest song…. Did adults really sing this? This is a kid camp song! “This is the day! This is the day! That the Lord has made, that the Lord has made! I will rejoice! I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
It was pleasant enough to hear an adult play it who could play the piano…and at least I knew the words….but really, was I going to sing along? This early? And it was a tad corny. And who cares about the day being made by God this early? This ain’t no sunrise Easter morning.
And then the simple words he sang over and over starting reaching me……. I thought, this guy, this grown man….he must really think this..BELIEVE this….I mean..he’s taking this seriously…this kid song….so I had no choice but to start thinking about them myself.
This is the day the Lord made.
I can be happy in it, about it.
It’s a good day.
Nothing wrong with this day.
I’m awake and dressed and doing something before school.
Somebody made me pancakes.
It’s still dark and cold outside, but it’s warm and bright in here.
Somebody put up all these tables and all these other adults are listening to this same song.
A man is singing me a song.
And it’s nice.
He’s happy and that makes me glad.
What unfolded from there has got to be one of the warmest memories of all my childhood at church. I have thought back about the feelings of this moment time and time again. I felt warmed and soothed, safe, like maybe the world is really a place where you can be truly joyful. Like knowing that God made the day really is something, really is enough to be happy. Like maybe celebrating God really is worth a special secret-feeling gathering of anyone who will come.
Really, the Word of God* was working its beautiful “magic” on me…it was winning me over…penetrating my soul. “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, able to penetrate both bone and marrow, even to the dividing of soul and spirit.”
Seeds were being planted in my heart that very precious morning. The fact that someone was praising God and it wasn’t Sunday morning really had an impact on me.
Someday I would love to hug and hug and hug that man and tell him how much it means to me that He was willing to be thought a fool for doing the best thing on earth.
Recently I began singing to my kids again at night. I go through phases. I get sick of the long nighttime routine and phase them into do-it-yourself mode…. then I miss them and want more quiet time with them and land myself back into a job.
The most recent song…. “This is the day…”
At first Josiah said, “That’s a daytime song, momma!” …. but I sang it anyway. A few nights later (of course) it was all he wanted.
Anytime is a good time for that.
“I WILL rejoice and be glad in it.”
“Do not let your heart be troubled…I have overcome the world, ” Jesus said.
“Take your thoughts captive,” the Word says.
“Keep yourself in the love of God.” Jude 1:21
“Whatever is pure, noble, of good report…think on these things..”
*Psalm 118:24. “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”