Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Sunday Morning Coming Down is a Johnny Cash classic.  In the country music genre where the songs are almost invariably about lovin', drinkin', cheatin' or breakin'-up, this song struck a discordant note when he released it.  Johnny Cash probably didn't understand how successful he was, with this song, in doing what country music always attempts to do, to define the human condition.  What I hear in this song is a soul who knows he has lost the way but doesn't know why.

The blues the singer is feeling is out of step with the peaceful nature of Sunday morning.  The reason for that is this singer has neglected Christ during the other days of the week, he has chased the pleasures of the busy world and all he has to show for it on Sunday morning is dirty laundry and a headache from the ended party.  Now that the world has paused to give Christ His homage, our lost soul feels disquiet.  It is an ugly feeling and he doesn't like it.  Worst, he cannot imagine why.  That is what it is to be lost.

I remember those Sundays.  It seemed as if the entire town was taking a nap.  Most of the stores were closed and those that remained open were only selling essential items such as food or medicine.  I remember the quiet.  Even the road traffic stopped.  The shopping malls were locked up, the children's sport leagues were on a day off and everything respected the sanctity and peace of the Lord's day.  It is in this quiet that we are most able to discern our soul's attachment to God versus our body's attachment to pleasures and distractions.  

Today, our world doesn't even pause to catch it's breath.  Nothing stops!  Our lost soul would feel perfectly fine on a Sunday morning in these times and he wouldn't ever get a clue that he is lost.  In fact, it is likely our cumulative fear of the quiet that drives these manic Sundays of today.  We are like Adam and Eve hiding from God as he strolls towards us.

An interesting experiment in measuring your own QQ (Quiet Quotient), that is your ability to seek God and listen for Him, would be to not turn on your radio or music the next time you drive your car.  Notice how many times you reach for the knob.  Each time you are tempted to turn on the sound say a prayer instead.  It will be hard at first, but with time and practice, it will become easier and most rewarding.

We must stop scheduling errands and organized activities on Sunday.  Stop tolerating the sport leagues scheduling games on Sunday.  We must give the Lord his day in profound thanksgiving for the rest of the week.  The peace and quiet of this one day spiritually fortifies us to face the battles of the rest of the week.  Further, we must give ourselves to the Lord throughout the week in everything we do.  Then we won't wake-up Sunday morning with a headache and the blues.

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