I woke up shirtlessly sprawled all over the couch, blinded by the brightness seeping through the window.
“Oh Shit! what time is it?” I shouted.
At this point I’m trying to plug in my dead phone. My roommate responds “1 o’ clock”
Damn I missed church… again. So now I’m dialing in.
Last night I went out for the first real time in a while. It was a blast! It was a celebration! We had drinks clinking & music popping. Dancing and laughter consumed us. This is what it feels like to be with family. To be with people you love. I felt Joy. But then you know after not eating I was even more of a lightweight than usual so you can imagine how that went. Which leads me to my messy morning. I was planning on meeting a friend at the train station to go through this goldilocks process of finding out if his church could be just right for me. But clearly it didn’t work out that way and when I saw the time I thought to myself “Noo he waited for me, he’ll be disappointed” similar reaction I had when I remembered my best friend was bringing some of my things to my apt last night but I passed out… “Noo he came all this way, he’ll be mad at me” I thought. Now, I’m wondering why I don’t have similar reactions when I miss church. like “Noo he died for me and i’m letting him down” type feelings you know? But I’m learning it’s not a disappointment that I may have missed church a few Sundays. People equate going to church with being I don’t know spiritually engaged? (i’ll say that for now cause I can’t find the words) But living in the world we live in with the internet & all, people can have church from their beds among other alternatives to going to church. So yeah it’s not a disappointment that I just didn’t physically make it to church because I can always find church. BUT it is a disappointment to not feel the movement of the holy spirit. It is a disappointment to not connect to God in prayer. It is a disappointment to not feel anything spiritually at all for me especially, on a Sunday.
So you know we have those friends who experience some event in life, person, lightbulb moment or whatever has triggered them to “go religious.” (I don’t know why that came off with that negative connotation) but yeah whatever we have those friends and sometimes they come off kind of judgey at first. Sometimes they’ll be like “mmm, you missed church again didn’t you?” And it’s like *side-eye emoji* “I Sure did! but the way my love for the lord is set up IMMA STILL GET MINE.” I want to say, but most times I don’t, because I feel like I’m in a Matilda type situation where I really can’t defend myself.
they’re big (more disciplined faith), I’m small.
they’re right (never miss a sunday). I’m wrong.
But it’s like to what extent do we have the freedom to practice our religion on our own terms? in our own style? like obviously we have the same goal so we’ll practice similar things like prayer or fasting or reading the bible but when it comes to church I’ve always been on the fence about if it really is a matter of doing whats right (by going) or whats wrong (by not going).
I guess it ultimately comes down to preference. It can seem harder to get what you get from church by not going but its possible. So anyways yeah, my preference is to go.
This is mostly because I feel I need to spend that time in order to prepare myself to make it through the week that lies ahead. Spiritually, physically, emotionally its just necessary. But since being at school away from my home church & only sporadically attending churches where I haven’t felt anything or it was too boring so I fell asleep, I’ve found my Sundays spent outside of church being really joyful. So typically what’ll happen is I’ll just live-stream it, lil bible study, prayer and a lot of singing & listening to music. This works for me. It doesn’t make me happy that I missed church but it does make me happy that I can still get that feeling. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel & say I on’t need the church. Because I do. But I just want the answers *yeezy voice*! I need to know if I’m doing the right thing to get me through those golden gates one day when I die. I find myself thinking about this constantly.
And oh, I remember my point in referencing the Joy I felt last night wit la familia! Some close friends of mine have said before that I put myself in these situations where I allow sin to come in by engaging in the “things of this world.” But the thing is I love this world! It can be beautiful! And yeah the bible says don’t get drunk and so what we got drunk. But it also says uhh… ooh what is it in Matthew or Luke about how you shouldn’t judge others? yeah. I mean even Bob Marley said something to the extent of making sure your hands are clean before you do the pointing. like they teach you this in schools about the golden rule and stuff. this should be common knowledge! religious or not. sin is sin, ain’t a being breathing who hasn’t sinned. But then I found myself thinking about last night and how beautiful it was and how happy everyone was. I thought to myself “How could anything about this be wrong?” I find myself conflicted about the weight of sin. And how mix-y the lines between right and wrong really are. So I feel like maybe people can live sin-filled lives and still be happy but its temporary because maybe that sin aspect is what keeps them from true lasting Joy? I don’t have the answers, but I’m glad I know who does *purple devil smirk emoji*