my life may not be centered but it once was

Like I saying about religion…was I? In hindsight I realize that in many ways religion was the focal point of my pre-adult years. Not in any spiritual sense but strictly in terms of my social life. Sunday morning and evening worships services, plus youth meetings. Monthly covered dish lunches. Wednesday service. Rummage sales, ongoing work details to repair what ever needed fixing, painting, etc. My Boy Scout troop also met there.

I think a lot of good was absorbed which helped with my character development but I still turned out to be an atheist. There was no a-ha! moment. My turning away was gradual. I do remember some of its beginnings. One Sunday our youth group orchestrated an evening service in the local town park on the banks of the St. Johns River. We even managed (somehow!) to haul in a piano. A out-of-towner visitor, whose reason for being there is now lost to memory but was probably why we were having this “special” service, called us out when he accused us of just “playing church”, copying what we saw our parents do without any belief or knowledge of why we did it. Going thru the motions.

I remember leaving that day and feeling pretty pissed. But he was right. Why was I doing it? Because it was expected and not for myself it turns out. I understand that now.

The church I attended from birth thru high school locks its sanctuary doors unless a service is held (used to be open 24 hours a day) and shares a pastor with other Methodist congregations in the area on a rotational basis.

The last time I checked there are some churches, (this one in particular 3 blocks from where I grew up) that keeps its doors unlocked. I hope they are still open because on my next trip home I plan to stop by and spend a few moments reflecting on whatever comes to mind.


About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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4 Responses to my life may not be centered but it once was

  1. felixwas says:

    I think it’s possible to (borrowing a Blind Faith tune title here) live in the presence of the Lord without being part of an “organized” religion. And that’s about as much as I ever say about spirituality; I think it is a private, personal matter.

  2. n_decisive says:

    Churches used to be sanctuaries, yet now, they seek protection.
    Weird, isn’t it?
    Hope it’s open, too. We all need places to reflect.

  3. cwmackowski says:

    I guess it depends on how you define “centered,” but your posts always seem to reflect the thoughts of a pretty centered, grounded guy. There’s a deep thoughtfulness that, to me, represents a certain kind of spirituality.
    I hope your moment of reflection proves useful to you.

  4. he accused us of just “playing church”, copying what we saw our parents do without any belief or knowledge of why we did it. Going thru the motions.
    Most of the adults I know are still doing the same thing, going through the motions of the faith they were brought up in without ever examining it or asking questions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a statement about any particular Catholic belief and had a lifelong Catholic say, “Really? We believe that?”
    I converted when I got married 30 years ago, and I think converts know the scoop better than the lifers. I don’t know what I am anymore, official-religionly speaking, but I know what I believe in my heart to be real and true. That works for me.

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