I want to write about church for a few minutes today.
I haven’t been to church in about eight months, and frankly has left me with mixed feelings. I miss the social aspects of church attendance…I miss the truly meaningful discussions…I miss the participation and the service that I was able to perform. But at the same time, I am absolutely relieved that I no longer have to feel the stress associated with trying to fit in, or wishing that my wife would attend with me, or the feeling of almost being on the outside looking in when attending social events.
I do not feel as though I have become a worse person for skipping church. As Garrison Keillor so eloquently put it, “Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car.” I wholeheartedly agree. If I were to sit in church and feel those frustrations again, what good would it do me? I am a good person. I do good things. I am engaged in good activities. I am by no means perfect, but I do not currently feel as though church attendance would make me any better.
That being said, I do wish that I could go to a church where my whole family could feel welcomed, loved, and included. My wife and I have entertained the idea of church-hunting several times. But I always worry that, since churches are just groups of people, we will always have to deal with the same people-problems that made our attendance at the chapel so difficult. There is no perfect church. But perhaps there is one out there that would provide a more fulfilling experience?
We desperately need this in our lives.
It’s interesting to see how far I have come in ten months. Ten months ago I made my first entry in this journal and it was all about how great the Church was. I spent so much time convincing myself to keep going, convincing myself that my wife would eventually come back, convincing myself that I was doing the right things. Some people might feel as though I didn’t “endure to the end”. That’s fair. But I think of it more as I picked a different ladder to climb. And maybe someday we will go back to the LDS Church, who knows. I don’t have any disagreements on the doctrine, it’s purely a lack of fulfillment and a desire to spend time with my family. What could be wrong with that?
In other news, it is almost Christmas. Kiddo will be receiving an iPhone as her big gift…this is such a large step for me to take! But I think my wife is right – it will be important for us all to be connected, especially in light of Friday’s school shooting. How horrible. I want kiddo to be able to call us if she’s in trouble.