Are you there God?
I grew up going to Catholic church. For the most part we went every Sunday and my brother and I both attended catechism classes. We completed our first communion and were confirmed. Despite this formal religious education I never have really felt like I had a full grasp on this whole religion thing.
In college, being a history major, studying the origins and spread of many world religions has made me question...which one has it right? Do any of them? And do I even believe in any of this?
Now I in no way mean to offend or speak badly about any religion, I am only speaking on my own personal experience. Truth be told attending Catholic church wasn't really "moving" me in any way. I didn't feel like I was getting any closer to an answer, getting any closer to having a relationship with God, and I wasn't seeing much personal character growth in myself.
The reality is when I did attend mass it was because "that's what you are supposed to do, because its the right thing." The music at mass makes me sad. I think about the loss of my son and I pretty much cry every time I attend a mass. I dreaded going because I knew for the rest of the day I wasn't going to feel any better.
Our family moved to a new home this past summer and we ended up moving closer to some friends. They invited us to attend their church's end of summer "field day" type of event. We thought it would be really fun to take the kids, so we did and we all had a great time. We decided to attend a service (this is a non-denominational Christian church), and we were REALLY impressed.
Upon walking in for the first time, everyone who walked by us seemed to greet us, say good morning ask how we were. There was a coffee bar set up, people were mingling and chatting, we were able to leave our kids downstairs in a children's area specific to their age groups where they would learn about God in an age appropriate manner. Meanwhile Trevor and I were upstairs, actually getting to listen to and enjoying the service together.
So needless to say we have been attending weekly ever since. I am not going out of obligation, not going because its the right thing to do and makes my grandma happy. I am going because the sermons the pastor presents every single week speak to me, are relevant to my life, give me something to reflect on, and lastly inspire me to want to be a better person.
Despite this, I have to honestly say I am still asking the question, "are you there God?"
I don't fully know where I stand on religion. I am still exploring and trying to figure it all out. But I must say that being part of this church community of genuinely good people, who are doing great things is pretty amazing.
In this world where there is so much division and anger, we need to become better people for one another; find what makes you better.