Skipping Church


By Jimmy Cochran

Columnist


I skipped church today. It wasn’t like I overslept, or just forgot it was Sunday, I intentionally planned to not go to the physical building where I go every Sunday. Yet, in the quietness of my home, with my laptop and worship music playing on my faithful Bose, I did have church.

You see, this past month has been filled with stress, loss, and medical issues. Yet, I kept going through my daily routines and not taking time for Jimmy to slow down and process what has been happening. The loss of a dear friend to me and to the Times family, Brenda DeLauder, gave me great sadness even though we didn’t often meet face to face, I miss her smiling face on the Religion page we shared for so many years. Each column she wrote spoke of her faith in God in such personal ways and I was encouraged and grew a little in my faith with each of her words. Brenda, may you rest in peace and rise in Glory! I know someday we’ll sit at the throne of God and swap stories of dogs and horses, farmland and city living, sorrows and joys, and how God sustained our faith through it all.

Several friends have lost family members to illness, homes have been torn apart due to flooding and subsequent mold remediation, so no one knows quite who is living with what relative at this point. But, the faith they have in God and His faithfulness has been a continual encouragement to me.

Then, I am dealing with some personal health issues that have thrown me for a loop and sent me into a spiral of worry, anxiety, and depression. Throw in my continuing battle of living with PTSD, and I had become an emotional and physical mess. So far, all is okay from a medical standpoint, but we are still trying various options to restore my full health and bring back the joy of life I have enjoyed.

So, we come to Sunday. After a full week of work, doctor appointments, and other “busy-ness,” my body and spirit spoke to me and warned me to take it easier or it would shut down on me. And, it had already begun. I read scriptures about worry, anxiety, and living a calm life and decided I needed a couple of days to “be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10). So, I decided to meet God in my home today. To sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast and coffee with my family, throw a load of clothes in the washer, and settle into my recliner/office/happy place to listen to God’s music and catch up on some writing and reading. And, for the first time in weeks, I am calming down.

Sometimes, folks, we all can get far too busy with life and neglect not only our family relationships, our physical health, but our relationship with God. We were created to be His Temple here on earth and by ignoring the upkeep of the Temple, then it begins to crumble. So, I skipped “church” today and began rebuilding the Temple of my life and body.

If you struggle and feel consumed by the things of just life and such, I urge you to take some time and get focused on God again. There are many scriptures that I cling to, but my one “go-to” scripture is Lamentations 3:21-23.

“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:

The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease.

Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”

God’s faithfulness and mercy never ends. For you. For me. Every day. Rest in this promise when things get overwhelming.

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.

Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of Being God’s and Staying God’s, both available at Amazon.com. Being God’s is also available at Moye’s Pharmacy in McDonough.