Missing church...

For the first time in some time I will miss church today. The sinus infection I've been working though this past week, and perhaps for some weeks prior to that, has won this round and I'll be at home with the cats on Sunday morning.

From the time I was a child I remember going to church, without fail, every Sunday morning. For want of a better term it has been the one consistent habit, excluding sin, of my life, transcending all the years and with me wherever in the geographical, spiritual, and social sense of that word I have lived. Being in church on Sunday is like a metronome in my life, setting the rhythm every seven days and allowing me to keep a steady pace.

Of course its not always been as ideal as that. I remember coming to church, especially as a teenager, in what I would've described in those days as "duress" which really meant, in retrospect, any situation that disallowed the full flourishing of primal selfishness. I've also been to church hungover on a number of times in those 'glory days" if not from Saturday night at least from the truth of what I had done. But I still showed up, without a wedding garment of virtues for sure, but at the door of the feast hoping, I guess, to slip in unnoticed.

In my charismatic days I remember going to church hoping for something, that mystical connection that everyone else seemed to be having but eluded me. I would stand silent and wondering as a sea of glossalalia ebbed and flowed about me wishing for a bit of that rapture for myself. Alas, it was not to be and rightly so. Looking back I could see myself just stuck in that place going from week to week looking for the "buzz". Intoxicants, spiritual or otherwise, seem to keep people as children in the worst sense of that word.

In these last years the rhythm and habit have taken over again. I realize I simply have to be there, to acknowledge at least once a week that I am not God and there is much in this universe larger than me. My mood at any given day matters little, although I should strive to be at peace within and without. Whether I am charming or profound means basically nothing, that I am tied into the eternal pace of the presence of God means everything. Whatever state I find myself in I need to at least be present to holy things and in doing so my life is changed for the better whether I immediately see it or not.

But today I will not be there. And perhaps this is to teach me, to call to my mind the longing of every heart to be with God and make next Sunday, presuming good health, more precious. I'm still pondering this, and may be for some time.

1 comment:

Mimi said...

Father, bless,

I hope you feel better soon.