James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States, took office on March 4, 1881. On his first Sunday in Washington following his inauguration, a member of the Cabinet insisted that a meeting must be called to discuss a matter that purportedly threatened a national crisis. The President refused, stating that he was already committed to another appointment. The Cabinet member insisted, telling the President that the national matter was of grave importance and that he should break his prior engagement. Still, Mr. Garfield refused to do so.
Obviously appalled, the Cabinet member remarked, “I would be interested to know with whom you have an engagement so important that it cannot be broken.”
Mr. Garfield replied, “I will be as frank as you are. My engagement is with the Lord, to meet Him at His house, at His table, at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning, and I shall be there.”
What an example! May we, too, be so dedicated to the worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, that we shall not forget we have a standing “prior engagement” every Sunday morning.