Going to Church

Posted by Merrily Brast, Staff Writer Jan 20, 2015 3:09:00 PM

By Lynn Swanbom Yount, UGM Volunteer

That's an odd title for a reflection commemorating my Dad's death five years ago today. 

It's a Sunday, my husband can't go today and I still need to get ready to go to worship. On a day when it's cold and snowy outside and I'll be joining a group of mostly people I don't know, I honestly don't want -- in the most simple sense -- to go.

But I grew up in my dad's house. Unless you had a spanking good reason to stay home, you went to church on Sunday. 

After moving out, I had short phases of not going to church, for various reasons. 

I always came back, also for various reasons. There was of course my basic hunger for truth and encouragement in living what can be a pretty daunting life, but that hunger isn't always manifest at 8 a.m. on my day off. I need another motivation just to initiate an act that I know I'll be glad I did.

That motivation is called discipline. I know what it looks like because of Dad. Others have also been good examples, but as I realize more and more what Dad's and my personalities have in common, I relate to the obstacles I know he faced in building that character trait under these circumstances:

  •   feeling like we don't fit in
  •   not always feeling the spiritual uplifting church "should" give
  •  guilty feelings for not having the joy that people around us seem to haveLynn_and_dad

Huh, there's that word "feeling" in all of those. And though feelings are important for many things, discipline isn't one of them.

I know that it was partly because of his children that Dad wrestled those down and showed us a positive example of discipline -- so much so that it's not synonymous with punishment in our minds. That in itself is a gift.

So I'd better get ready to go to church. 

"Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another ... . For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 10:24-25, 12:11)

Lynn is a copy editor at the Spokesman Review and a High-impact volunteer at UGM in the Marketing and Communications Department. She has volunteered for over five years to assist with writing, editing, and proofreading. Originally from Fresno, California, Lynn is a loyal 49ers fan and can knit nearly anything--including mini-Star Wars figures for her husband. 

Are you interested in volunteering at UGM like Lynn? Click below to learn more about how to start. 

Click here to sign up for a volunteer orientation. >

Topics: church, dad, feelings, discipline


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