Sunday 13 March 2011

Thought Picnic: Regaining a sense of being

Bussed out of well laid plans

The alarm went off this morning to wake me up for church, I was planning on catching the 1st service that starts at a quarter after 10 in the morning.

I realised if I made for the 9:24AM tram that goes by my apartment block I would be in time to catch the connecting bus to the bus station just a 5-minute walk from church.

When I got to the bus stop for my well-timed connection I noticed the bus stop had been suspended for 4 months due to road construction work going on the route just before the bus stop.

I could not be bothered to read up on where the bus stop had been temporarily moved to but it meant I had to catch another tram up the road and then a 10-minute walk to the church service that had already started with the regulatory praise and worship commencement.

Cultural inadequacies creating discomfort

Settling in, I words on the screen were Dutch with English in smaller print below, I do my best to sign in the large type though I was a bit unfamiliar with the song which was made a bit more disconcerting with the signing of a fellow congregant that was good deal louder and so very out of tune.

Having powers of keen observation are not what you need in church, you mind is at work assessing, reconciling, commending and dare I say judging – surely, I have my own flaws, my foibles, my shortcomings, I should concentrate on mine.

English reserve does not work in church either, though my pastors are English too, they are exuberantly unlike the stereotype, the loudness, excitement and movement is God too far from High-Church Anglicanism, the drums, the guitars and the organ put solemnity in the far past and I rock from side to side with the attempted tapping of feet not really fitting in – I am just not doing emotion enough to be carried away in the flow.

Nevertheless, I do love this church in many ways I have not been able to articulate that well, but as I thought I began to wonder what really made church fun, what it was I really believed in and why I have never really given that much of commitment to any church organisation.

Regaining a sense of being

Prayers are mouthed without sound and it appears one is just not getting into this until we are informed that we would have communion and I realise I really want to snap out of this pity-party before I make to get my jacket to go home and never return again.

I take the bread and remember the words and seek to find their meaning for me, then take the juice of red grapes with Christianly acknowledgement of what it means to me and begin to believe that I would be a lot better by the time the service is over.

After the offertory, the sermon begins on financial responsibility with a focus on stewardship and it dawns on me I may not have been that good a steward of my life, my vision, my career and many other things with all the talents and abilities I possess – is there hope for change? It appears there is, you just need the smarts to get back to where it all seemed to matter just as it did on the very first day.

I am no more disillusioned but hopeful, I seem to have received an impartation of encouragement and even people willing to help – there are dimensions of my life I need to develop better, this fun in life is not yet over till it is really over – in any event, Church does help put some thorny issues into perspective.

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