I have started to attend Church again! I used to attend regularly, then often, then sporadically, rarely and almost never. I have many reasons for why I did not attend. For a while, I was caring for a terminally ill mother, and, several months later, a terminally ill brother. Instead of taking that hour off to attend church to feel nourished by God, I chose to sit woefully by their sides. After they passed away, I was depressed and I spent a lot of time sleeping. I would chose to sleep that extra hour on Sundays, trying to replenish a body already full after 9 hours of sleep. When I started to attend church again, I found I was replenishing my spirit instead.
Instead of attending church, I would sit with my cup of tea and read the newspaper with all of its gloom and doom, all of which I could do nothing about. When I choose to attend church, I found a wealth of opportunities to actually do something for the betterment of others; toiletries and toothbrushes were collected for the poor, non-perishable food items were collected for the food pantry, baked goods were requested, along with a whole host of opportunities to actually take part in the worship itself as ushers, readers, choir members and so forth. Instead of feeling helpless about the world, I was reinvigorated to join in to help, to do something concrete to help others.
Often, instead of going to church, I would be on my computer, reading e-mails from strangers, clicking on their messages as though they were really important. Instead, I found the really important messages in church, direct e-mails from Christ. I don’t know why I never made the connection before.
When I entered the church that first morning back to church, smiles met me everywhere. As soon as I sat down in the pew prior, I felt myself begin to relax. The flowers were beautiful; the altar was inviting, and the choir inspirational. I melted with a feeling of total acceptance and peace, and I could feel my every day stress wilting away.
I regretted having put church on the back burner in my life. My two oldest children who had attended Sunday school, made their first communion and confirmation, participated in the youth group and taught Sunday school, are now successful adults. They have spirituality and compassion for others, traits instilled in them through their participation in the church. My younger children who have not had the benefit of participation at church are floundering as teenagers. There has been a huge difference because I have not made a concerted effort for them to get to know the word of God.
I know many people have really good reasons for not being able to attend church. However, if you are like me and just found yourself drifting away, please reconsider your participation in your church. I consider myself a lost lamb found by Jesus. I have found peace, and in this hectic, frantic world, peace is a good thing!