Monday, February 8, 2010
I had a very enlightening Sunday, for numerous reasons. I woke up early, without an alarm clock, entered a few sweepstakes (I’m officially addicted and determined to win anything—Teflon frying pan, stainless steel water bottle, new washer and dryer, trip for two to Maui , a year’s supply of dog food…) and then looked at the clock and much to my surprise realized I was up early enough for church. I quickly scrambled to get ready and then bolted out the door. I have been on a bit of a mission lately to find a church that really speaks to me. While I grew up Apostolic Lutheran and will always cherish the foundation of faith it built within me—with the help of my parents unwavering guidance and faith of their own—I’ve known for some time that I needed something more.
I attended the Church of Christ Lutheran church this morning and finally, finally found what I was looking for. At first I was hesitant, and critical, like I am every time I try a new church. I think: Why are people wearing jeans? And what is this new age-y music, I want to sing Thank You Jesus. These people seem a little too peppy. I mean, too sincere about… well, God. And that sounds just plain ridiculous, doesn’t it? How can you be too involved with God, or too pumped up? Okay, take that back, some people do take getting pumped up about God to levels of heinous atrocity (but that’s the rare case) but otherwise, being all revved up about the Lord is pretty amazing.
Now before you think I’ve gone all gospel on you, I just want to take a step back a bit and explain myself. Growing up, I felt quite reserved in my religion. When I saw those shows on TV with the southern Baptists in their choir robes singing and clapping up and down the aisles, while everyone in their pews raised their hands and declared "Amen, oh praise the Lord, Hallelujah!" a part of me was astonished at their lack of inhibition, but another part of me was intrigued. They made going to church look like a whole lotta fun. And quite frankly as a child I thought church was just something I had to get through in order not to go to Hell. I used to fret over this constantly, going to Hell that is. I was well aware God knew I was counting how many times the minister’s coughed in a sermon and giggling instead of paying attention to scripture. But the sad fact was, I felt like God couldn’t blame me for the fact that I was severely bored.
I don’t want this to come off as a bash session against my religion. I couldn’t have loved the way I was raised any more than I do. And there will always be the part of me that knows our slow and steady hymns that God himself is surely swaying to just can’t replace the upbeat tempo of newer Christian music. However, after attending this new church, I felt the lure of something profound. Something deep inside me that I wasn’t even sure had always been there.
For what I’m certain is the first time in my life, I left church with a skip in my step and a newfound sense of hope in what’s to come. I know this is a big step and one maybe not everyone will appreciate, but as for me, I finally understand what it’s like to want to get up and start clapping in church.
In fact I did.