Is it Worth It?

by Mary Johnson, Children's Ministries and Director All things Bright & Beautiful

Is it worth it......? There are many circumstances in which this question can be asked: buying a car, a house, an article of clothing, a treat loaded with calories. And the question calls for a yes or no answer. The question was asked of me recently at our outdoor 9:00 Eucharist by a parishioner referring to the children and her frustration in trying to reign in their boundless energy during the service. My immediate reply was "YES!" The children are here at church and it is most definitely worth it - not only for their sake but for the whole congregation as well. This is life. All shapes and sizes, ages and interests, all coming together in community. And, it is my firm belief that this community is well worth it!

I've often mentioned in my Dove articles that I am grateful to my parents for the gift of a strong faith foundation. It has helped guide me through my life. I am certain there are numerous times when my parents, while getting all of us out the door on Sunday thought "is it worth it?" I will gratefully reply today, "YES!" Apart from a few neighborhood families, I don't necessarily think of the members of the church itself where I grew up. But I remember it was important that we were there. I remember the rituals and traditions. The sights and the sounds. As I faced significant events in my adult life, I could draw on those aspects that helped me get through a difficult time or celebrate a joyous time.

Our current culture promotes health and well-being though diet and exercise. And, certainly a good education is paramount. So why is it that a child's spiritual fitness gets the short end of the stick? Sunday sports games and practices seem to get priority. It's been a very busy week for all so Sunday is a good day to kick back and do nothing; I get that. And, I also get that it is totally worth it to make faith formation an important part of your family schedule. I only have to look at the happy faces of our families on Sunday morning to see that. A few anxious moments trying to get out the door to get here by 9:00, or a few wiggly seats in pews or chairs may give you pause, or beg you to ask the question "is it worth it," but over the years you will, I'm certain, conclude that it was indeed worth it. When your children are faced with some tough times and they can come here to find unconditional love - it's worth it. When your children return home with their children and come to church with you, it's worth it. YES! It's worth it.