I talked to a woman once who said, "I go to church faithfully. I listen, I understand, I believe. But when I get home, I'm the same old me."
How true. We are caught up with hopes and beliefs and faith during special moments of worship and inspiration.
But when we go back to the grind of life, we feel like the same old person again.
And yet this is not quite true. I am not quite the same "me" because every experience in life does change us.
We cannot be exposed again and again to the Lord of life and not be changed by him. Here is the value of regular worship, and the attitude that seeks a blessing when we go.
Somebody asked a church member one day what the minister had said. She thought for a moment and then said she didn't remember. "See," said her friend, "it doesn't do you any good. Why not stay at home?"
The church member pointed at her wicker basket and asked, "What if I asked you to fill up that basket with water and bring it to me?"
Said the other, "Why the water would all run out!" "That's right," said the other, "but it would be a cleaner basket, wouldn't it?"
Do you despair of growing in grace, of being better? Don't give up just because you fall now and then. Do you sometimes wish you had never been made? Just remember: You're not made yet. You're just in the process of being made, and this is all part of the Maker's process.
Go to church. Keep growing in the faith. Eagerly seek him, and that same old "you" will become a "transformed new you."
Francis Guither, a pastor for 46 years, is the author of seven books. Guither is retired and lives in Quincy at Good Samaritan Home with his wife, Katharine. His most recent church was Carthage United Methodist.