Sunday School

I went to church four times last week, but I never stepped into a church. How did I do that?

No, it’s not one of those logic riddles where the answer is some obscure at first, and then ever so obvious, detail that just leaves you feeling obtuse.

I grew up in a family with a strong faith and a particular religion, it was just who we were. I embraced this all through my teens and young adult years, but then there came a time when I began to question it all. I struggled – still struggle – with the rituals and rules, the politics and practices of this religion. It’s been ten or more years now, that I’ve tried to figure it out; find my own balance with losing my religion and finding my own brand of faith.  There are people I know who have gone on ‘church safaris’, seeking out that perfect place where they feel they fit, where they understand the language and respond to the ritual, a place to call their spiritual home.  I watch on with a bit of envy; but for reasons far too convoluted for today, it’s just not the right time for me to don my khakis, safari hat, serengetti shorts, and traipse all over kingdom come.

While I am not sure which building I would choose to call my home, if given the opportunity  – I do know that I bump into moments of grace in unexpected ways and surprising places.

Divine inspiration?

Bring it!

I was lucky, my mother was a deeply spiritual person, and not bogged down in the stand-up, sit-down business.  I think she had a direct line; or so it seemed. She was focused on what the relationship meant, and how she shared that with others, and more importantly, how she was in the world. And so, by example, I was taught that beyond the traditional confines of the word,  ‘church’ is a community, that we should ‘break bread’ togther, that it’s important to treat others as we wish to be treated, that we are to care for those less fortunate, and that the best way we can ‘praise God’ is by singing { I, of course, am at a distinct disadvantage on this one…}

So, this last week, I went to church four times, but I never set foot in a church.  How is that possible?

Because I  ‘broke bread cheese’ here

Because someone shared the importance of the golden rule

Because I was reminded of what it means to be compassionate to others

Because I experienced the generosity of this community

and because people are singing, all over the world…

more info on how this came to be

And I prayed, and I pray, for the tragedy of lives lost and souls broken in Aurora.

So while I have yet to identify the name of it, I am grateful for, and know that I find faith in places I least expect, when I am open to seeing it. I am not sure if that needs a name or four walls and a steeple.

One place where I know I fit, snug as a bug, and where I feel the grace, is among pine trees, a granite wilderness, and clear blue water.

I will be attending ‘church’ all week…

…and yes, I will pray for you… 🙂

Amen.

And just in case, you really wanted one of those logic riddles…here’s one

What is greater than God,
more evil than the devil,
the poor have it,
the rich need it,
and if you eat it, you’ll die?

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33 thoughts on “Sunday School

  1. Beautiful post! I can completely relate and I love the idea of looking for inspiration and spirituality in the every day. Some people who go to church every Sunday seem to leave their spirituality and faith in the walls of the building where they worship. I hope to live an inspired life every day. I have a ways to go, but I’m getting there.

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    • Oh you make such an excellent point…about ‘some’ of the ones who darken the doors of a church, but yet somehow fail to bring light to those of us standing outside! I am with you – on a ways to go, but I suppose its best to focus on just the getting there… glad we are are in good company for the ride!

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  2. Beautiful post. My dad goes to church every single day (the actual building church though), he teaches 7th grade religious education classes, and does small group with adults. He is a very devote catholic and the best part is he doesn’t force my brother or I to believe what he does or go to church with him. He doesn’t push the sit down stand up rules down anyone’s throat but he stands strong in his faith. Like you it is very inspiring!

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    • Thanks so much, your story is inspiring – I your father has true faith in my humble opinion, it’s for him and shares with those who come to learn, but I love that he respects your choice(s). That was one of the many things I loved about my mother. Here’s to finding the connection where we find the most meaning and comfort

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  3. ah, we are kindred souls my dear. i, like your mother, don’t always ‘subscribe’ to the stand up sit down, and rather gravitate towards churches not during services, but rather when they are quiet. when travelling we have explored many, but we are not sunday church goers. i am often saying ‘i have a direct line’. we all do. and my line, like yours seems to originate with the clearest connection when i am in and fully entrenched in the beauty of nature. enjoy your time away.

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    • Indeed we are my dear…are you surprised at this point? 🙂 We all have a direct line, yes,we do! Nature is playing tricks on us, but I’ll take it any way, any day!

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  4. The answer to the riddle is “nothing” Bonnie 😉
    I agree that a place of worship is of your own choosing. I grew up in a religious family but have chosen a more spiritual path for myself. Gratitude is my daily prayer. Another great post, thank you!

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    • Yes! You are right! I think I replied earlier..but wifi in the mountains is a funny thing…
      Thank you so much – for being here – and being a kindred spirit 🙂 Gratitude is a wonderful if not perfect daily prayer.

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    • It is pretty amazing, did you watch the one with 2000 voices? Thanks so much for the reblog! When I’m back home in will look forward to visiting your blog 🙂

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  5. I do not belong to any organized religion. My church is nature…His church. I don’t think one can get any closer to God than communing with all He made.

    My heart, too, weeps and prays for the poor souls in Aurora, CO and their families. It is difficult to wrap my head around.

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    • Jenny – it is too difficult to wrap our heads – or hearts – around that kind of tragedy. We have to weep together in whatever way we know how. Thank you so much for your comment and ‘getting’ the the organized bit 🙂 I am grateful as I look ahead to a week in nature!

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  6. Mimi-It was your post that got me thinking about ‘church’ and finding it where we/I need to, when we/I need to, and got me thinking about paying better attention to what I see and notice all around, and the impact it has upon me. So, of course yours was mentioned here 😉

    I agree, a ‘house’ of worship can be wherever we want/need it to be – thank goodness – and thrilled I get to make a visit to one of the ones I love the most. I feel ill equipped, inadequate really, to wrap words around Aurora – but my heart swells just at the mention of it.

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  7. I think a house of worship is anywhere you want it to be..and my best conversation with God are usually early in the morning when I’m out with the dogs and just looking at the sky as the stars begin to hide as the sun starts its slow rise in the sky. I am really honored that my post is even mentioned within the greater impact of this terrific post. Somehow the horror of the shootings in Aurora is too large for anything other than the church you will be attending this week. 🙂

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