I’ve pretty much avoided organized religion and church for many years. With few exceptions, the most profound spiritual experiences I’ve had throughout my lifetime have been solitary excursions into nature. That said, I’ve loved gathering for extended, uninterrupted worship and stimulating interactive fellowship with open-minded, open-hearted spiritual seekers.
I hate being preached at. I hate being lectured at by highly biased know-it-alls. I’ve grown way beyond accepting simple black-and-white solutions to complex, multifarious problems, especially when being presented as THE “Biblical” answer. I am highly skeptical of anyone who purports their own interpretation and knowledge as unequivocal. As Ralph Waldo Emerson remarked, “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”
Notwithstanding, I believe I am – we are – spiritual beings and thus need places and spaces that nourish and inspire us. Despite having a profound, daily connection with my “Higher Power” as the 12 step community may categorize it, I have often felt the need for more. Just me doing my own thing my in own way, though safe and comfortable, can become anemic. However; waking up, dressing up, and marching off to church every Sunday morning doesn’t appeal. Add Coronavirus to the mix and the whole thing becomes even more daunting.
Anyway, over the last several years, I’ve grown uncomfortably comfortable with avoiding church. Then, a couple weeks ago, while attending my granddaughters baptism at an outdoor, evening church service I experienced some lovely, inspiring worship. Consequently, I became willing to revisit the whole “church thing”.
My wife and I thus intended to attend a nearby church Sunday morning. Unfortunately, our plan devolved into virtual attendance due to that particular service not requiring protective masks. I was very surprised and impressed by the speakers simple expository of scripture, offering common sense description and insight versus the usual regression into a narcissistic, myopic rant. I am hopeful.
Having received a beneficial shot in the spiritual arm, I am happy to reciprocate by giving, praying and posting of my experience. Therefore, my donation for day 46, is to that local community church. I encourage you to give back to the organizations wherein you receive spiritual nourishment, be it a local church, a 12 step community and/or a nature conservatory.