If I ever went out with my family on a Sunday afternoon for lunch, I don't remember it.
For years, Dad was the pastor of a little church and he was nearly always the person who came in early to start up the boiler for heat in the winter and nearly always the person who locked the door after the last group of people walked out the door... and I was usually the child who elected to travel with Dad to church, which meant Sundays were long days. We'd take the lake route home and I'd tell him what I thought of the sermon and Mom would have lunch ready by the time we got home and got out of our church clothes. By this time, it was usually early afternoon and exhaustion had set in.
I grew up and I married the worship pastor of our church, we moved away and the cycle continued: we'd get to church early for set-up and practice and then we'd stay until the end of the second service for tear-down after people had all gone on their merry way. We'd head home together with our daughter: hungry and emotionally/physically/spiritually exhausted, with some lingering comment about the need to polish off homework in the afternoon.
Joshua is now on sabbatical from worship ministry as we wait for Baby Davis, and I'm loving it. Last week a couple of our neighbors invited us to a Tex-Mex restaurant and since we only spent 90 minutes at church, we had the energy and the ability to go to lunch. We had a blast: there was a kids table and an adults table and conversation was fun and free-flowing. It was nice.
This week we got to go again, this time: Chinese. Of course, there's little to eat at an American-Chinese restaurant when you eat a biblical diet, but it was so refreshing to have lunch with friends, to not have to make lunch or clean up and to feel like my only agenda is making my way back home and into bed for an afternoon siesta.
Is this what everyone else has been doing all these years on Sunday afternoon? What have I been missing?!