When I served a church full time, I grew used to greeting people at the door on Sundays who apologized for not having been there the week before. Most offered up faulty alarm clocks or out-of-town visitors as excuses, but a few confessed, “It was so quiet when I woke up . . . ” or, “It was such a beautiful day . . .” They did not have to finish their sentences, since I knew exactly what they meant.
For most of them, Sunday morning was the one still point in their spinning lives, the one chance they had all week to move slowly, breathe deeply and remain mute until noon if they wanted to, or to enjoy an unhurried breakfast of blueberry pancakes with the whole family. They knew about their duty to worship God in community, but every now and then they decided to worship God in creation instead. For some reason they thought this would anger me, but they were wrong. The emotion they sensed in me was envy.