but I really ought to know God has numerous surprises up his sleeve.
I’ve been fighting an internal battle with myself about church lately. Actually, I’ve also been fighting with myself and God all through every church service I’ve been to for about six months. So, a month or so ago, I stopped going to church. Sort of accidentally on purpose. I kept intending to go, but never got there. I spent all of Sunday “oversleeping” or “forgetting” what time the service was. Or saying to myself “I’ll try somewhere else.” and discovering the somewhere else was doing something that would just make matters worse. Or excusing myself on the grounds my work patterns had changed, and I was too tired…. This didn’t stop the battle!! I’ve just been spending all of Sundays vaguely at odds with life and the universe and God and myself.
What’s with the “vaguely” description? I’ve been hating Sundays without church, but not knowing what to do about it. I’ve also not been keeping to any kind of prayer routine, or Bible reading, in the week either.
Strangely, several things this week have given me the kicks I needed! The first was a funeral I attended at the beginning of the week of an eighteen year old. I didn’t know him, but I knew his friends, through my work, and promised I would go with them to support them. The second, third and fourth kicks were all work related, too. But, they all had in common the thread of reminding me God doesn’t want me to be anything other than myself , to live my life in the way that works for me, and to do my work in any other way than the Japes way, and that the foundation of that life is my relationship with God.
But – that foundation needs care, nurture, and checking up on. Neglecting it Will Not Do!!
I did not, however, expect an early morning said communion service, (from the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 – Church of England) to provide me with a deep sense of peace, and coming home to God again, in such a strong way. I think, for now, I have found my place to do that care and nurture, and when I’m feeling stronger again, I can make my way back to the main services, with a sense of willingness to get involved in the life of the church again, rather than the sense of deep unwillingness I’ve been living with.
For, I think, what the big, big, big battle has mostly been about has been the sense of being involved for many years, but running on empty for so long, yet feeling bad if I wasn’t volunteering to do various things, or playing for the services, or being on committees, or doing things just because I could.
But a quiet early morning service, then coming home to read, reflect, and write – and more importantly, spending Sunday enjoying it sounds a pretty good idea for now.