Lent 2008: Day 16 – Weekend Warriors

Are you a weekend warrior? As a Christian, that would apply to those of us who put God on the back burner during the workweek and then try to get energized, mostly due to Sunday Services, on the weekend.

We have settled into a pattern of living. During the week, the mundane requirements of life get in our way. We have to work, which for most of us takes up at least ten to eleven hours of our day, if you include the getting ready and getting to.

When we get home we are tired, have to eat, and often reward ourselves (we take to heart the McDonald slogan, “You deserve a break today”) with a little television or Internet browsing, or we may read a book, magazine or newspaper. If we are younger then one or two times a week our spouse becomes the focus of at least part of the evening, before its off to sleep to get ready for the next day. For some of us you can tell what day of the week it is by what we do in the evening.

If you still have children at home, you have even less time, since during the week they have needs, activities, schoolwork, and various other concerns. The younger they are, the more they demand your attention. If you even remotely take your parenting duties serious, considerable time is used up meeting those obligations.

I am not saying we ignore God during the week. We may listen to Christian radio or music on the way to and from work, we may say a short prayer with our spouse and/or children before leaving or at night. What I am saying is that God is definately not our primary concern. He doesn’t rule the week.

In earlier times, most churches had midweek services, which most people attended. If not that then a weekly Bible Study or Prayer Group shifted our attention for an couple of hours. However, it is a truly rare household that has regular family devotions and the everyday demands of life are our primary concerns, despite the spiritual “interruptions.”

Saturdays are usually the time to sleep in for a bit in the morning, catch up on the things that have piled up during the week, do a little cleaning, fix this or that, get errands and shopping done, and depending on the weather and time of year, have outdoor concerns. That grass will need cutting for about seven or eight months and only a bit of drought gives us a reprieve. Our children are often involved in sports or other activities on Saturday and if it wasn’t Friday night, then Saturday night is the one time we may go out.

Even Sunday barely breaks the pattern, though in the morning we usually shift gears enough for church where God finally becomes the primary focus of our time, unless the sermon is weak and our mind begins to drift to the game that afternoon or a work concern for Monday morning.

Yes, for the weekend, we may make more of an effort with God, become the weekend warrior I am talking about, but if we are honest with ourselves, we can count on one hand the total hours that week that God was primary to us.

This Lent we have been talking a lot about death, little deaths as well as the big one. I may be wrong but it seems to me that most of us experience too many little deaths to our relationship with God during our average week, and not enough little deaths to our attachments to this world. We define our everyday living around worldly rather than spiritual concerns, and try to make up for it, at least on Sunday morning, on the weekend.

The problem with weekend warriors is that their skills erode, their commitment flags, and they begin to let too much slide; little things at first, then bigger and bigger things, until in the end they have no warrior left in them.

God doesn’t want weekend warriors.

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