Written by guest blogger Andrea Frazer
One of the things I’ve been praying for lately is for a new church. The one I’m at is lovely. It’s where I went to school and where I’ve attended countless weddings, funerals and First Communions.
But it’s not as engaging as I’d like. I’ve left this large institution a few times before but, like the prodigal son… er… daughter, I always found myself coming back, tail between my legs. (And sadly, no one greeted me with open arms and threw me a party. That blew.)
With a mixture of half relief, have resignation, I’d start in again every Sunday, putting the burden on myself to get inspired by God.
Except on some Sundays… like yesterday… when I was fighting a cold and honestly found more inspiration from the Daily News budget cuts stories than I did for attending mass. (Bad, Andrea!)
I’m annoyed with myself because being a Christian should never be about the service or the congregation only, right? And yet, the more I pray on the matter, the more I know that I’m not just being insecure or wishy washy. This isn’t about my shortcomings only. God is there in my present church – no doubt – but I personally can’t hear Him. Why?
Is it too many negative experiences from grade school?
Is it the structure of the mass?
Is it that I go without Rex and it’s all on my shoulders to keep my kids from bugging the retired nun sitting next to us during a homily that barely I can follow without wanting to fall asleep drooling on her head piece? (That would be a bad “habit” to get into. Get it? Dumb joke? Okay, moving on.)
It’s probably a little of all of these reasons, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. I’m not excited about Sunday morning. I go because I love Jesus and I want my kids raised Chrisitian. But I despise the experience.
Sunday has to be more than that. Sure, it’s up to us as individuals to invest in our faith – not just a system or in a congregation. But Jesus’s own words even say, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18, 20 (NIV version.) I’d like the two or three people that I see on Sunday to be people who are woven into my family.
I want them to be people my husband feels comfortable with.
I want them to be people who value my children.
I am quite certain if I committed to my current church I could have this experience, but my heart just isn’t there. I need a change. But I’m not sure what. I’d like to make a move sooner than later, though. It’s unfair to keep switching my kids back and forth.
What about you? Are you happy at your current church? Is it tiny with an emphasis on fellowship? Is it a mega church where the minister wears a microphone and looks half Tommy Lee/half hip Bible Thumper? Is it medium sized church like the Berenstain Bear’s Little Brown Church in the Vale?
Speaking of, check out my atheist husband reading “The Berenstain Bears go to Sunday School” with my daughter – she’s buried under the covers. She chose that book herself this past Sunday. I can’t make this stuff up. God is working in my life for sure.)
So tell me – do you LOVE your church? Why? Why not?
More of my writing can be found at www.lifehappins.com