Today feels like Sunday afternoon. Quiet and empty of purpose but full of destiny. It’s funny how on the days that you intend to do nothing you begin to make sense of everything. The other days that you were desperate to accomplish and simply couldn’t, they begin to fade and you get to the root of your horrid unproductiveness.
Sunday afternoons have certainly been tell-tale of where I stand. What point I’ve arrived in life or where I need to go. It’s funny how Sunday really depicts your circle of life. When Sunday afternoons are spent in the same location as they were in the beginning, that’s usually where transformation happens. When the clock struck afternoon on the Sundays of my childhood I was in a wooden pew. And now years later having spent Sunday afternoons in an array of appropriate and completely dysfunctional situations I have returned to the pew. The prodigal daughter if you will. When completing the Sunday circle, life can really begin. You can finally press play on your plan to better yourself and those around you. You find yourself returned to a place of familiarity, the place where destiny fits.
I never once thought I’d spend Sunday afternoon in church again because in my mind spirituality happens at the core..not in a building. The idea of selling my relationship with God short to the building was demeaning. It lessened everything that I had grown to know of Him, everything that had defined our relationship up until that point when I determined to make a change. Now, I realize that I overthought what God meant to keep simple. The church is a building that holds meetings for believers and those full of hope. It is a venue for the inspired and those still intending to make a difference. The rest of us, the ones who had magnified our relationships with the higher power to a place where the word Christian didn’t even apply, well we felt justified but we were really just complacent in our decision to be selfish.
Church has become a place of judgment for us. A place where few FEEL able to come as they are, but fundamentally all ARE. Should this difficult truth keep those of us who really do believe in that scripture from being apart? If we are pure-hearted just headstrong or believers, just independent contractors of that belief…then I imagine church is the perfect place for us. A place where we are sculpted to be the spitting image of our Father. The image that He individually designed for us. Many believe church implies a place where upon arrival all are immediately brainwashed to become Stepford members. But the oneness really resides in arriving (the fundamental decision that we ALL made to go despite the many reasons we have not to show up) and then finding peace in focusing on THE ONE PURE LOVE that brought us together. From this oneness sprouts our own individual gifts and his true intentions for our lives. And once this recognition occurs we are presented with challenges to practice these gifts so that they begin to show evident.
We have no guidance beyond intuition without Him…and really how far has that gotten us. In Tuition…In School…Green…without experience or knowledge of what to do…a place of learning…a place where we are DEFINITELY going to make mistakes. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. He came to set us free from intuition…guessing…making a mockery of what life should really be. Maybe if I stop judging..creating my own translation to rebel against the translation that I believe the “church” intends and just allow him to speak my correct and individual translation to my spirt…well then, Im sure I’ll find my way somehow. That’s what he promised.
The church’s real purpose I believe is to harness the gifts and positive intentions of the believers in a worship setting to create mass good. To benefit the community, the poor, the young, the broken hearted and unbelievers so that they may learn hope. So that they may see that we..the church goers..the believers are just former poor and young and broken hearted who allowed church goers before us to exemplify and instill what power there is in faith. The substance (something real and tangible) of things (usually not materialistic, most often needed life supplements – ie family, love, laughter, stability) hoped for (our hearts most intimate desires) the evidence (proof, undeniable reason to believe) of things not seen. We come together to give thanks for realizing who we were (shadows of those that we are sent to help) and to worship him in spirit and in truth for offering us deliverance and teaching us how to accept that gift. We convene to keep each other grounded and centered to face a world of those not quite built like us. We’re no better no worse. We are not there to judge another man’s way. But to be uplifters of who has worked on our behalf.
I guess that’s why I came back. Why going to church doesn’t make me typical or a holy roller or someone who has “seen the light” Going to church THEN made me a child raised religiously. And true to his promise... teach them when they are young and when they are old they will not depart…no matter how far they wander. Going to church NOW has turned me into a woman “seeking that light”...a pure relationship between me and my Saviour…not always congruent with the one that the church members set out for me. One that will allow me to cultivate and share the gifts I know he intended me to, not the ones that I am comfortable sharing. Will it be easy? I imagine not because all are called but few are chosen...and wide is the gate but narrow is the way that leads straight to the throne room. Not the one where we receive our rewards, but the one where He resides, patient and smiling because we chose to be beyond morally good. We chose to be obedient.
Be ecstatic when you find yourself in the same place on Sunday afternoon that you were in the beginning. Great things will follow. Here, at 30 and a half, is where my journey begins.