When I was their age, Sunday morning was an adventure in just the preparation for departure from the house. Mom was relentless and patient in trying to get everyone ready. I suspect that she was like most other mothers on Sunday mornings in trying to make it all happen. Five kids running up and down the stairs trying to find an available bathroom (sometimes the guys would just give up and head outdoors), looking for breakfast (no omelet station here, but left over beans from the night before), washing (sort-of), and finally piling into the family car for the next phase of the adventure. Now, it was the finger pointing of why we were late again, who stayed in bed too long, who took all the hot water, who needed a spit bath, and of course, trying to identify which child made that smell. It was our pre-service quiet time. Arriving at the Church in Lerwick (pictured here), we would file in like ducks. Of course the service had already started so we proceeded to the front of the Church for our bench seat, otherwise known as a pew. I have real memories of things in those services at that age; the sound of my father's finger nail clipper, trying to decide if that was a bird nest in the lady's hat ahead of me, standing and holding a book that was called a "hymnal" but not being sure of what to do with it, big guards called ushers coming down each row and stopping to look at you until your father gave them some money (scary), and then sitting and listening, Repeat. Sitting and listening. Repeat.
There was one time as a young boy that I was asked to sing in the service with my new guitar. Walking to the platform, standing behind this big wooden desk, I strummed whatever notes my fingers were at, took a deep breath and sang "Pineapple Princess" with total abandon. I must have done a good job because there seemed to be quite a reaction. The preacher even asked me to sing "Jesus Loves Me" as well. I was a hit.
That was what it was like for me at the age of my grandchildren. Now, on most Sunday's, my wife and I are sitting with our grandchildren for part of the service. It was this past Sunday that I learned something again from them. Holding 3 year old Xander, the congregation was invited to stand and sing. While I was looking around noticing who was present or absent, and watching people on the platform, I could hear Xander "singing" along with everyone else. The words nor the tune were important to him. He caught the opportunity to participate and jumped in. I decided I better sing too. And then I glanced to my right in time to see my almost 2 year old Selah standing on the chair totally caught up with the rhythm of the music. She had her hands, arms, shoulders, hips, legs, and feet involved. She was dancing with joy. I started tapping my toe. Peer pressure. Of course it wasn't long before either grandchild was distracted, but in that moment I absolutely loved the abandon with which my grandchildren participated. One singing and one dancing. Total abandon. I hope they don't grow out of it.