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Church I Don't Go To Church Without Being Paid
By Rev. James Snyder

Few things in life I would seriously consider absolute and never think about changing. I grant you there are precious few in this category. It's a good thing, too. It is quite frustrating to get accustomed to one thing and then somebody change it completely.

I wish, for example, computer program developers would take a year off and go to Switzerland where they could freeze their brains.

I like my computer and the programs I have. However, there is a conspiracy afoot I assure you. Just when I get accustomed to one program they change it just enough so that I can no longer use the old program.

Most of the time the changes do not make the program any better, just necessitating me buying an upgrade.

But, no matter how much I complain, most things in life are subject to change. I have on occasion, changed my mind about a few things, but not this one.

The one thing I would never change is simply this. I will not go to church without being paid. Why should I?

Why should I go through all the trouble of going to church and not get paid for it?

Most of the places I go insist I pay them. For example; if I go to the local grocery store they insist that I pay them for items I pick up.

I once went to the bakery and asked if I could have a donut. They said I could, but they did not mean it. As soon as they handed me a donut they insisted I pay for it. What kind of business is this?

And I do many things without being paid.

I take the trash out from the kitchen for my wife without being paid. Of course, I have to do that. Most of the garbage, according to her, is mine and I refuse to argue about refuse.

I will mow the grass without being paid, but then if I don't do it nobody will.

I could list a lot of other things I'd do without being paid but I'm afraid you-know-who would see the list and then my days of leisure are over. It is not that I mind working; it is that I really love my leisure.

But when it comes to church, that's a different story.

Some people whine and complain about going to church and look for any reason not to go. It's either too hot or too cold. They're either too tired or too busy. And the list goes on forever.

Not me. I have been known to go to church when I have had at least 100 reasons not to go. In fact, on several occasions my wife strenuously objected to my going. Something about not wanting everyone catching my cold, but I really could not understand, I was sneezing and coughing too much at the time to hear.

I am paid too much not to go to church.

Wait a minute! Hold the cell phone! If I'm not mistaken, I think I just heard a reader thinking aloud, "There's another preacher thinking about money."

Who said anything about money? I know I didn't. Why is it that money is on everybody's mind? I know they say love makes the world go round, but everybody knows it's money that makes the world go round, which may explain dizzy blondes.

Some things are more valuable than hard cold cash. I know it is hard for most people to understand that. Most people have dollar signs in each of their eyes, keeping them from seeing things as they are.

When I said I don't go to church without being paid, money was far from my thinking. I would take it as an insult for someone to offer me money to go to church.

Why settle for filthy lucre when you can have something more precious than gold. When you spend money, it is gone and usually not much to show for it. With me, it goes faster than it comes. I think my checking account is allergic to deposits.

Many people count on money to get them through. Often they are disappointed and left holding an empty bag.

Some things in life money cannot buy. No matter how much money you have, if you are bedridden and your body is filled with disease it does not do you much good.

Years ago, I made a wonderful discovery. Going to church pays rich dividends. Regular attendance makes those dividends regular.

There is the fellowship of people of like faith. Nowhere else in the world can you find such an assembly of wonderful people. There is a real sense of comradeship among those who believe.

I would be remiss not to mention the fact that there is a real sense of inspiration that comes from worshiping God as a congregation of believers.

Some have made a career of disenfranchising us from congregational life. They have done everything within their power to undermine this crucial spiritual fellowship.

The Bible admonishes us, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25 KJV.)

My life is richer because of my habit of attending church regularly.
JAMES L. SNYDER is an award winning author and columnist living with his wife, Martha, in Ocala, Florida. He was also a very popular speaker at the inaugural FaithWriters Conference held in Detroit in August, 2008. His quick wit and down-to-earth faith inspired many to believe they could write humor too. If you would like to write to James, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.