I was quite calm...I didn't feel the least bit nervous. I suppose if anything it was a little weird. I had never been anywhere near this church before and certainly not inside the building. But I wasn't fearful like I expected to be. Nope, I felt pretty good, folks were nice and said good morning, welcomed me in and showed me where to go. Plus I didn't feel put on the spot at all.
Sometimes, when you are new to a situation, especially if it's a group of regulars like at a church, you stick out like a sore thumb. Then someone spots you, latches on and won't leave you alone. I hate that kind of stuff, I feel as if I'm on display.
Nope, I felt like I blended in and was never put on the spot. A fair amount of folks introduced themselves to me and it was all really friendly and cool. It is a fairly large church, there was plenty of room so I chose to sit in the back. I actually know a lot of people who attend that church but most of them tend to go to the 11a Service. I purposely went to the 8:30a because I'm an early bird and it's less crowded which I prefer.
I do think I mentioned that the service was really straight forward...Music, Announcements, Prayer, The Lesson and Teaching by the Pastor (Sermon), More Music, Close. I liked it a lot. I felt very peaceful, I enjoyed the message, it challenged me intellectually as well as spiritually. Overall it was a very good experience for me.
The message and focus of the service I thought dealt w/spirituality in the real world. It did not feel like Sermon's I've heard in the past where the minister spent the whole time either patting himself/the congregation on the back or berating the people for not tithing enough. There certainly was none of that here. But as you can tell, I had some very negative stereotypes that I was holding onto and I will admit, I was looking for stuff I disagreed with. I hate to say this but yes, I think part of me wanted this "experiment with church to fail...it didn't.
I've made the decision to keep going to church on Sundays and I will see what happens. I would be less then honest if I didn't share that I still feel rather awkward with this entire subject, whether it's about going to church, believing in God, whatever. I will say that I am experiencing some profound and I mean they are really amazing things regarding my spiritual beliefs right now. But I'm uncomfortable stating them publicly at this time for fear that I am still working my way through mountains of questions and doubt...Just give me a little time to grow into what I'm feeling.
I have always tried to be myself, warts and all on this blog and I really am opening the door here into a very tenuous and tricky journey. I feel vulnerable being this open and yea, part of me doesn't trust MYSELF. Believe THAT? But I've made some poor choices in my life and it doesn't surprise me that I gonna wonder if pursuing God or a Spiritual life is some major waste of time. The answer I keep coming up with is no, no it's not a waste of time. For a guy who has stated very forcefully that I have felt like I was fighting for the very existence of my soul, this is big time stuff.
But as I sit here tonight, I still feel just as strongly that I am supposed to share this experience as it happens to me: The doubt, the fear, indecision, the hope, joy and yea, the relief. I really do believe that there is something out there and I'm on the right path for ME at this time and in this place....