A few months ago I took a weekend for myself; marked off one of the things on my bucket list. I went zip lining through the redwood trees. Wow, what an experience! I would definitely do it again. Sliding along the cables, high up in the trees, such a rush and feeling of freedom, it was awesome. In a sense too, it was faith building.
After my afternoon zipping along amidst the trees, feeling exhilarated by life, I headed to the nearby beach for some more faith building. Walking along the beach, listening to the crash of the waves, the squawk of the seagulls, the laughter of the children nearby, I was basking in the sun and feeling a bit more faithful.
During my stroll along the beach, I began chatting with a woman as she was watching her kids play. Come to find out, they lived in a town not far from me and were at the beach with their local church group. In the course of the conversation, she asked where I went to church. I was honest and told her I don’t GO to a church, and while I do have my beliefs, I’m not so sure I need to be in a building to have faith. I could see by the look on her face and the way she almost imperceptibly shuddered, she didn’t agree with the fact I didn’t sit in a building to worship.
As we parted ways, the kind woman made it a point to explain to me that I would be happier if I went to church. I stood there on the beach, watching the waves, feeling the calmness around me, seeing the beauty and wondered. As much as I like churches- some buildings are beautiful- does it make me any less faithful if I don’t go in?
Growing up, my family went to church on Sunday, and we had our catechism class on Saturday. Having Saturday class sure interrupted some good play time! Hard to listen to the lessons when many of your friends are out playing baseball and riding bikes. With so much out there to explore and see, I couldn’t imagine why we had to sit in a stuffy old room ON A SATURDAY!
With 9 kids, getting everyone up, dressed, fed and to church on time, was not an easy task for my parents. As some things have a tendency to do, those weekly forays to our place of worship became less and less. I think it was more a matter of logistics than anything else. Does that make us any less faithful? Some might think so.
No matter what your belief, or who you pray to, is it any less valid if you don’t sit in a church?