That is what I said to Joe, my husband, on our way into church this morning. Shortly after I muttered under my breath “I can’t wait to go deal with all these rich bitches today.”
Yup, it doesn’t get much holier than that.
After reading that, it is hard for me to think that I actually think holy thoughts ever. I am a bad person. I know nobody is perfect and that everyone walking into church in the morning is a sinner, but these thoughts seem pretty bad. And what makes it worse is that I say them out loud, it would be different if I kept the fact that I can barely stand to smile and say hi to the people inside those walls. But a whole other thing to vocalize it and write it down. Silently sinning is sooo much better. But seriously, I have issues. I don’t like Sundays. I hate going to church and pretending to socialize with people who I really don’t think I have anything in common with and of whom I have demonized in my own mind to be pretentious and exclusive. I hate trying to look like I belong and thinking too hard about what to wear in the morning. And I hate trying to desperately avoid any hand shake or half-hearted conversation. “It sure is a nice day out.” “You bet it is person I don’t know, good talk.” All this ‘stuff’ is a lot of work. And really if I think about it it has nothing to do with actually disliking church but really this is all about me being insecure. Sure the random conversations are a little tedious but really when you get down to the core of issue it has everything to do with me not feeling like I belong.
It is all about me. This is my world, the rest of you just live in it.
The thing is I am totally missing the point. I am getting so caught up in me, and my feelings and insecurities that I lose sight of why I am really in church in the first place. The real interesting thing is that when I am feeling all these things, (usually it develops into anger- I am an angry church goer) I know that it is taking away from the purpose. I am in church to grow in my relationship with God, AND to fellowship with other christians. Isn’t this what God calls us to do? I think there is a verse that talks about that but I have tried looking it up and could not find it, but I did stumble across Hebrews 10:15.
Hebrews 10: 22-25 So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
We are supposed to fellowship. Fellowship I believe means just hanging out (deep, I know) But I think church is important and I think fellowship with other Christians is also important. I think it is interesting that I find these two things important yet I struggle so much with church because of my preconceived notion of the christians inside the church. Were does all this undeserved hatred come from, where do all my insecurities stem? I know it sounds kind of hokey but part of me thinks it is the devil or evil spirits. I believe in both of these things but it is one thing to believe in evil spirits and another thing to let people know that you think evil spirits are making you irrationally angry and insecure. But I really do think that is part of it. Of course I must take personal responsibility for my actions and words but all this anger that overwhelms during a perfectly fine church service cannot be normal. I cannot concentrate on worship because I am dreading the meet and greet handshake thing after worship. I listen to the pastor with anger because I know I will soon have to (this is not forced so I don’t technically have to) walk up in front, with everyone else, and take communion- God forbid people look at me. I am just irrationally pissed.
I wish I could bring this all full circle and give myself a few comforting words to send me off into the world beyond my coffee table but I got nothin’. I guess I just need to pray about it and hope that God softens my heart so that I really can focus on what is important and not on all the little garbage filling up my head. Is their hope for Christians with bad attitudes? Of course.
Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.