It’s been five days already since Good Friday. I really have no idea where time goes, a sure sign of getting old. But I am not yet so old that my memory is failing me. Still a whippersnapper about that.
Every year I attend Good Friday church service. It is, much to even my Christmas-loving chagrin, the most important day for Christians. The day that Jesus was crucified by the Romans after being handed over to them by His own people (although it wasn’t really a Friday, it was a Wednesday if you study carefully).
Good Friday is the day in which we remember how thoroughly sinful we are, yet how much our God loved us then and loves us still. How much He wants to be in relationship with us at all times – the good…the bad…the empty…the full…when we try and hide and when someday if we don’t, we’ll be with Him forevermore (Rev. 21:3 – check it out. It’s the whole story and point of the Bible repeated one last time).
So the ONE DAY a year where extra special reverence is demanded, I am sitting in church early preparing for this solemn remembrance. Service begins at 1:30; it’s roughly 1:10 and not many people have yet arrived. I’m 4 or so rows back, right side, aisle seat. Soft music is playing, black attire is abundant, smiles are absent, the mood is heavy.
I feel myself tearing up a bit and then I hear it. A conversation. I look across the aisle to my left and some guy is on his cell phone. Talking. On his cell phone. Carrying on a conversation like it’s nothing. I am flummoxed. Confused as to what he is actually doing and confused at my immediate rage.
Focus. Stop. Ignore him. But, I can’t. It’s like when you see an accident being cleared as you’re finally coasting by after having been at a total standstill for an hour. You know you’re not supposed to look, but that just makes you want to take pictures. So now, I don’t want to just ignore him, I want to pummel him.
Really? Why are we here? Did Jesus die for us so you could have a (struggle, conflict, expletive) conversation before you flippantly tell Him thanks? What is so (again) important that it is imperative you talk to whomever now? I was fuming inside, having this internal debate and guilt-like feeling, thinking, This (yep) is causing me to not feel very Christian right now and clearly I’m supposed to since I am in church…
I calmed down and he hung up. The whole scene reminded me of the cleansing of the Temple (Matt. 21:12-17) when Jesus was furious and drove out the moneychangers because they were disrespecting His Father’s house, turning it into a “den of thieves.”
This thief wanted to steal his phone after that little stunt.
Instead, I prayed for patience and gave insufficient thanks for what God has done for me – that day and every other.