“It’s gonna be a glorious day”

From “Lucky” by Radiohead

When Thom Yorke delivers the above line, it is a crecendo which soars and lifts my spirit.

Today I was awoken by the my daughter’s calls for me which have become my Sunday morning alarm.  Once I got focused, I realised that I had a heart and head full of content thoughts having spent the last two evenings in the company of important friends, chatting to the wee small hours over good food and red wine. 

After a read of yesterday’s Guardian whilst my daughter watched a little TV, I pulled on my jeans and wind-cheater and strolled down the road to our favourite, nearby, cafe to pick up fresh coffees and pastries.  The sun was still low in the sky and bright enough for me to squint into it for most of the walk.  The air had that frosty chill when you inhale deeply followed by steam exiting my nostrils.  My Bloody Valentine provided a perfect sound-scape from my headphones as I tried to dampen the muffled sound of the passing cars and their long shadows.  There were copper leaves in the gutter and middle aged women carefully delivering communion galsses to the local church.

Sunday is often referred to as a day of rest.  We had the best laid plans of making it to the early service at 9.30 as my wife was heading off to a class with a friend at 12.  We were nowhere near making 9.30 and had thought of just ditching the 11.15 service in exchange for a family day together and, maybe, a drive in the car listening to last week’s sermon on iTunes.  20 minutes before the 11.15 service, our nearly four year old started saying how much she wanted to go to church.  Five minutes later the two of us were properly dressed and bundled into the car with her singing “Worthy, You Are Worthy” the whole way there.  (It is usually that, or “The Milkman of Human Kindness” from the child seat these days and either is fine with me).

We made it to church on time and joined some close friends in the pew.  The music was great and my daughter was desperate to go down the front and do some actions she had learned to “Worthy You Are Worthy”, before disappearing to Sunday Club all by herself like a proper little indie pop kid.

The sermon was powerful.  Our Senior Pastor Karl noted, “We are here today because God brought you here”.  I was there because my insistent nearly 4 year old wanted to be at church enough to kick my butt into action and I am more than grateful to her for it.  As I type this, my wife has headed out to the evening service to hear the same sermon.  As I look at the scribbled notes I took during the sermon, I wonder what specifically I was meant to hear?  What is to be illuminated to me and how will I respond?

The afternoon was spent helping my daughter on her bike, aping around in crunchy, fallen, leaves, playing in the swing-park, eating a late lunch and playing “nurseries” whilst being scolded any time I tried to sneak off to play my drums.

All in all, it has been a glorious day. 

I once heard Rob Bell deliver an amazingly helpful sermon on what it means to keep the Sabbath.  He described it as “the day when my work is complete, even if it’s not”.  A time to intentionally set aside the things that so often consume us, to rest and be fed instead.  He encouraged the listeners to find out what feeds their souls and to do that.  For me, I really miss church if I’m not there on a Sunday – not out of any sense of religious guilt, but, simply because it is a great place to be.  A place where I am accepted, stimulated, challenged and leave with a bunch of thoughts and ideas scribbled in my notebook and bouncing around my  head.

Feeding my soul might include anything from spending a lazy day with my family, a cozy afternoon in our home with the rain drumming off the skylights or paddling out into the sea on my surfboard to try and catch some waves – just feeling small in the vastness of nature, but fully alive.  And yet, any of those activities would take second place for me when compared with getting to one of our Sunday services.

Morrisey once beautifully sang, “Every day is like Sunday.  Every day is silent and grey”.  I no longer see Sundays or Sabbaths as something to be endured, but rather as something to be embraced.  As the Icicle Works put it “Love is full of wonderful colour”…or as REM put it, “That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight losing my religion”.  But, what I have found is something stripped of tradition and ritual and yet appreciative of what those things point to or can help with.  My faith has felt more alive and stimulated in the last three or four years than it has done in a quite some time.


5 Responses to “Lucky”

  1. 1 brunettekoala October 12, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Lol. Loving that your daughter is ever the evangelist and getting straight to the point. Hee hee.

  2. 2 thestatethatiamin October 13, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Yup, it may have been a glorious day – but it was a sleep deprived night and I think she saw the worst of me after me trying to coax her to stay in bed for over an hour at 4.40 this morning. I am such a bundle of contradictions at times…Sorry, Toots – your Dad IS an impatient numpty at times.

  3. 3 Gavin October 13, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Oo-er! I’ll be on time tomorrow in that case! 😀

    Was good to see (from afar anyway) Eve dashing down to the front for some actioning.

  4. 4 exactscience October 16, 2008 at 12:20 am

    I always thought that Stipe was singing about losing his composure. I think there is an element of that to worship, in the church I grew up I didn’t “feel” it because everyone seemed to be standing on ceremony rather than y’know worshipping.

    I love that line from Lucky – happens to be the only song on OK Computer I like but I tend to skip after that line, song kinda takes a downturn after it

  5. 5 thestatethatiamin October 16, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Yeah, for years I wasn’t sure what Michael Stipe wass getting at on “Losing My Religion”. I’m still not entirely sure, but, I think the film “Chocolat” depicted something I discovered a few years back, namely, a release from some of the things that had simply been a hand me down faith from my parents. I began to question certain things that I had been taught and to reconsider them for myself. I think I abandoned some things that I was becooming like a Pharasee about and, hopefully, didn’t dilute my faith or maake excuses for behaviour in the process. I think my faith seems more real now, because it is based on things I have tried to prayerfully consider and address.

    As regards “OK Computer”, I still think that album evokes the way the world sounded back in 1997 – the dawn of a new government, the fear of the milenium bug, something apocolyptic about a new century, advancing technology and the death of Diana.

    For me Bright Eyes “Motion Sickness” is a modern equivalent capturing the way the world recently felt and raising the questions that we the church should have been asking rather than naval gazing at times in our little holy huddles.

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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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