I realize that for those who know me, and know that I have a condition called cerebral palsy, the title of this post might be a bit misleading. You might think that because my cerebral palsy causes spasticity, that the title might be referring to the trembling that occurs in my muscles from time to time. No, the title is from the movie "Tremors". Raise your hand if you’ve seen the movie “Tremors”. This movie is what some would call a “cult classic”. (That is not to say that this movie is of the occult.) A “cult classic” is, in my opinion, a lesser known movie whose fans are truly fanatical. They’ve seen the movie dozens upon dozens of times, can quote from memory entire dialogue sequences, and probably have dressed up at least once on Halloween as one of its characters.
Such is the case with “Tremors”. It’s a low budget flick about, stay with me here, people in a small isolated town defending themselves against underground alien monsters. It stars, and I use that term loosely, Fred Ward and a young Kevin Bacon. Let me end all debate and controversy here by stating, “I love this movie!”
Allow me here a little stroll down amnesia lane to explain how this little movie came to reside permanently in the top 20 of my “all time favorites” list. I grew up in a very rural area. Some people might even call it the boonies. To say that cable television was slow in coming to our community (and I use that term loosely as well) would be an understatement. (Maybe they didn’t have enough line to run out that far. I don’t know.) We didn’t go to movies as a family when I was growing up. (You'll have to ask Big Bill and Momma Fay about that.) But I developed a friendship with the new kid in school my eighth grade year named Jeremy. And Jeremy had two VCRs.
Now, if it weren't prohibited under federal law, Jeremy might have made copies of movies he rented. And if he had made copies he might have loaned them out to his friends. And if he had made and loaned, one of the movies might have been “Tremors”. And if Tremors were one of those movies, he might have made me a copy, and my brother and I might have watched it. And being starved for entertainment such as we were in rural Mississippi in the summertime with no cable or satellite TV, we might have watched it about a hundred times.
In one scene from the movie, Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon's characters find themselves on top of a large boulder surrounded by these underground alien monsters. The monsters can't penetrate the rock, so our heroes are safe for the moment, but as time goes on, they realize they will die of thirst or hunger before the monsters simply leave of their own accord. The conversation on top of the boulder goes something like this:
Fred: “What we need is a plan.”
Kevin: “I say we just run for it!”
Fred: “Running's not a plan. Running is what you do when a plan fails!”
May I ask you a question? Are you planning to go to church this Sunday? If so, do you have a …plan? Or are you just running? How many of us put as much energy and effort into getting our kids and ourselves ready to go to His house on His day as we do into getting to work and school on time on Monday? Do you set an alarm? Did you gas up the day before so you won't have to stop on the way? Will you leave 15 minutes early...just in case.
I think, for many of us, one of our problems is that we think getting to church on time will just happen. We think that since we don't have to be at church as early as we do work and school, there'll be plenty of time to get everything done. This just isn't true. I don't know about your house, but our house can be anything but peaceful on a Sunday morning. And the Devil will jump on you with both feet to give you any excuse not to go to worship. Or, better yet, he'll make you so frazzled by the time you get there, that you're not able to worship.
Hebrews 10:24-27 reads, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God”(emphasis added).
Now, hear me out. I, for the most part, am not naturally bent toward legalism. I don't think it is necessarily a sin to miss church once in awhile. In fact, I think there are some legitimate reasons for missing church. On the other hand, I've heard people say, “God doesn't call roll on Sunday mornings.” Well, that might be, but I also don't believe we should abuse the precious gifts of grace and mercy that He so generously bestows upon us.
So, what to make of this thing we call “going to church”? Do we attend regularly? Is attending half of the time to be considered “regular”? Is being fifteen to twenty minutes late when we do attend really giving our best in an effort to serve a risen Savior? How do we attempt to correct these issues? Well, we must have a plan! Why? Because, “Proper planning prevents potential problems and poor performance.”
Will there be Sundays that are absolutely crazy at your house? Sure. Will there be times when everything that can go wrong on Sunday mornings will indeed go wrong? You bet. Are there going to be times where “the best laid plans” have indeed gone awry, and the only option you have left is just to run? Of course. But remember: Running's not a plan! Running is what you do when a plan fails!