Friday 4:59 PM. It is almost here, you woke up thinking about this moment, this freedom. In one minute, you have….. the weekend!
What could you do? Where are we going to eat? I am going to be able to stay up late, sleep in, enjoy a lazy Saturday afternoon, and then do something great again Saturday night, and when I get up Sunday, all day football.
Oh this is going to be great.
Is this what we are thinking Friday at 4:59?
Some of us might be thinking, I just want to sleep! Or I am going to binge watch all weekend long.
The weekends have turned into 2 days for gratifying the flesh.
I am going to do what I want. Wake up when I want. Eat what I want.
Does it ever really satisfy though?
After the “party” nights, whether that is social partying or a Netflix and fast food – stay at home party, has this weekend satisfied?
If you’re a believer involved with a local church, did you do all this while sliding into a service at 11PM and then maybe go to lunch with some folk and then go nap, just to get up Monday and do it again?
How can we inject GRACE into the weekend? How can our weekends receive gospel transformation?
Here are a few small things that can inject grace into our weekend (while still allowing plenty of rest and that are free)
Warning: If you follow this, your weekend might not look like everyone else’s when you go back to work Monday. Your stories might not be the same. But hey, why don’t you be a rebel:
1. Begin Saturday morning with a devotional. Even after you sleep in. When you wake up Saturday, don’t just turn on T.V. and spend the next 14 hours ruled by your own mind and flesh. Here you are Saturday morning with an option: zone out or pick up your bible.
You want to have an awesome weekend? Pray and spend time in God’s word. 15 minutes. 5 minutes. Have a small time where you seek His presence and be in touch with His Spirit.
There is NOTHING better.
I know. I know. A bowl of cereal? Re-runs? Spending time with Jesus is better than that? Yeah it is. You think hiking, fishing, watching whatever, playing whatever, is greater than the God who invented all that? You got it twisted. Get your weekend started off right with time with the Lord.
Then go about your Saturday recreation however you might, but be open to change after this small time where you sought God.
2. Some time Saturday afternoon / evening: Pray. Pray for your pastor. Pray for your church. I’m not talking about monk-like hours of prayer while everyone else is at the movies or dinner. Go have fun, stay in and hang out, do whatever you want to, but, pray for some people that you know from church, especially if there are some people in hard times. Pray for your pastor who may still be working on his sermon. Pray for your church’s unity. Pray for those who you might meet tomorrow. Pray for how God might use tomorrow morning’s service.
3. Go to church early. Don’t sneak in 15 minutes late and leave during the last portion of worship. Why? To fellowship. You might need to hear something from someone. You might need to say something to someone. There is great edification in a cup of coffee before worship, there is great strength in friendly chit chat before the service, there is an invitation into someone’s lives if you are the one to be there to show a guest where the kids go, or where they can sit, or greet them in the parking lot. It is worth waking up 15 minutes earlier or going to sleep a little earlier.
4. Speak to someone you usually don’t. Even in small churches, groups and routines are formed. Even if you enjoy speaking to most of the people, even if you are sure everyone knows that you care for them, even if you are an introvert, there is a great exchange of encouragement and strength in widening our fellowship.
5. Be honest. If not everything is alright. Don’t say everything is alright. If you need help or just want to vent, your church is exactly where you should be able to find someone to help or listen, but if they ask if everything is ok and you say, “oh yeah, perfect”. It is really difficult to help or listen. This could be whether you just aren’t right with, the Lord, yourself, someone else, etc., or if there is a specific situation where someone has offended you or you have offended someone else.
This doesn’t read like a manual for throwing the best party or a dude-bro’s map to excellent weekend.
However, there is great joy in resting. There is great joy in the Sabbath. There is great joy in seeing small seeds of prayer and intentionality bearing fruit even over just 2 days’ time.
Get your rest, relaxation, recreation over the weekend, but if you aren’t fulfilled in your average weekend, add a few small ways to find grace in your weekend and see how much joy you have over being a zombie for two days.