Church, faith and adventuring towards truth for my family.
I feel a calling. It is not a conscious decision, based upon deductive reasoning. It is not an experiment that I wish to conduct in order to tinker with the inner workings of my family. It is simply a truth that I know I must follow. I feel God in my life and I seek redemption.
Today, for the first time ever, I took my family to church.
Having never been a religious person, I struggle with understanding how to speak about seeking out God. The sensation is powerful and so my temptation is to match my words accordingly and invoke a particular colloquialism that I am not especially comfortable with. Because my goal is always to simply convey whatever is my greatest truth, please allow me a quick disclaimer…
I am not educated about religion. Events in my life have led me to understand that Christianity is the truth that I must pursue but I can’t yet explain why. My limited understanding of faith is that one should not have to explain why. Although this is a powerful moment for myself, I am going to attempt to speak plainly about it.
I told my family on Thursday that we would be going to church on Sunday. The kids groaned. My wife agreed that it was a good idea but like me, was weary. Not knowing what to expect, I had made my mind up that we would fight through it and try every church in town before giving up. In a way, I was only prepared for failure, which made the success such a joyous surprise.
As we pulled into the parking lot of the Wind River Community Church, my wife’s anxiety matched my own.
“There’s no one here” she said, implying that we should leave immediately. We struggled to leave the house and had miraculously arrived ahead of schedule. I was tempted to take the out but forged ahead nonetheless. We’d already come this far, afterall.
Sometimes opening a door is all you have to do.
We were greeted and we were welcomed. We were handed a pamphlet and told generally the way things were going to go. The energy was palpably lovely and tranquil.
“Holy shit,” I thought to myself, “this is pretty ok.”
Church began with music. It was great and there were screens displaying the words to the songs, which was cool even though I wasn’t going to sing along. I felt dumb because I didn’t know what to do with my hands, so I switched between resting them on the chairs in front of me and drumming them on my thighs.
After a few songs, my two youngest boys went off to youth ministry while my wife, my oldest son and I stayed in the main hall. The main pastor was out of town but the men who filled in were amazing.
I dont know what exactly I expected but the sermon was energetic, thoughtful and inspiring. More importantly, it was accessible.
They read from the bible and they interpreted it into modern practicality. They told jokes. They were passionate. I listened and I laughed and I teared up. My wife did the same.
After the sermon the younger kids came back, full of smiles and energy. The church band played some more songs and I awkwardly tapped my fingers on my thighs once more. Though I felt awkward, it was awesome.
We left, I went to work, I got home, we watched some football and then cooked some dinner.
Then my wife and I talked.
We talked about the sermon, which was about contentment. We talked about the church and the people and how much the kids enjoyed it. We talked excitedly about how great it felt to be close to God and how much we looked forward to next Sunday. We connected in a very powerful way that transcended anything that we’ve experienced in ten years of marriage.
“Holy shit.” I thought again, “This is pretty ok.”
So… I know that this is a lot of words to detail that which is likely mundane for many of you but it was pretty special for my family. We are excited for this new chapter of our lives. All that I ever want to do is to write my own truth. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I am just figuring out what that truth is.