You don’t Have to Be Here

A couple of nights ago, I went to a special church service.  I wasn’t planning on going because I was not in the best of moods for several reasons:

  1. I had a long and unproductive day at work (This is such a paradox to me, which makes me even more annoyed!)
  2. I had an unnecessary argument with a loved one
  3. I hadn’t eaten much all day and would, therefore, sacrifice another two hours of  meal opportunities by sitting in church.

To put it plainly, I just wasn’t having a good day. Now, I recognize that there will sometimes be days like this. Similarly, I recognize that this, too, shall pass.  But in that moment, when I’m consumed by my feelings (particularly, the infamous “woe is me” feeling), I often choose to remain in my funk.  Yes, it is a choice, and I made it.

Despite my feelings,though, I felt obligated to go to church because I already told others I was attending.  I’m actually glad I did because out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of something that quickly snapped me out of my emotions. During the worship music, I saw a young boy praying and worshiping as if no one else was around.  He had to be no more than 12 years old, and what shook me the most was his passion for the God he knew – the God he believed in.

I don't have to be here 2

What a wake-up call this was for me! I believe that God uses the smallest moments to grab our attention, and almost immediately, I was taken out of my feelings to be reminded that I don’t have to be here.  I don’t have to remain in this place of sympathy for my own misfortunes or circumstances.  I am the daughter of a God who is bigger than my longest list of things gone wrong.  For that reason, I can simply give it all to Him.

This little guy inspired me that night.  I could have continued to consume myself with my “bad day” or I could have chosen to give it to God, the source of my strength and peace by letting go of it right here.  After all, isn’t that part of our responsibility as His children?

I learned that evening that my mood was a choice, and my worship was also a choice.  I cannot be so distracted by my “world” that it takes away from the moments, the people, and the One who matters most.  Therefore, rather than remaining here in my emotions, I will choose to embrace what is happening right here in His presence.


I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.

Mark 10:15 NLT

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Elana Cole is an author, educator, and coach who is passionate about helping others in their personal journeys towards a more beautiful life. She is the author of "The Midnight Experience" and creator of Empowered Narrative, a blog about transforming the way you live and love.

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