On Sunday, I worked at the coffee bar at church and entered service a little late. I was working the coffee stand by myself as Nate had to work the night before and was exhausted, so I told him to sleep.
I knew that the flavored coffee carafe was only half full, and I was worried that it was going to empty while I was in church. As the singing continued, I wondered if I should go back out to check it before the sermon started.
I finally decided that it was better to be in service and praising God than to worry about the coffee running out while the sermon was going on. However, it kept nagging me.
That made me think of an "Adventures in Odyssey" episode features a little girl going back to Bethany to visit Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
Martha complains that Mary is sitting at Jesus' feet versus helping serve the meal that was keeping Martha busy in the kitchen instead of listening to Jesus talk. Jesus rebukes Martha and said that being with him was more important and Mary chose the right path.
Lazarus later tells Martha, "Doing things for him isn't the same as being with him."
That lesson was reiterated when the pastor preached on Sunday about Jesus appearing the disciples while they were fishing, after he had risen from the dead. Peter jumped into the sea and swam to shore to hug Jesus, while the other disciples finished what they were doing before bringing the boat to shore.
Peter knew what was important and left everything else, not worrying about finishing his work because seeing Jesus was more important.
Sometimes I put doing things for God in front of being with God.
And it's the same with people. Serving isn't always a substitute for just spending time with each other.