Sunday, March 4, 2012


I've always had a weird relationship with Sundays.  A weird thing to say, I know.

I should backtrack a little bit about my life so that I can explain myself a bit better. My Dad is a Presbyterian minister. He has been for around 30 years now and I am immensely proud of that fact. This also means that for my whole life (all 24 years), I haven't know him as anything different. Since I can remember, I had to go to church every Sunday. It wasn't an option, it was a rule.

This was less my parents' wishes and more of the pressure placed on them by the church members. Nothing looks worse than a religious leader with an absent 14 year old daughter. So I played my part, got dressed nicely and played nice with people that were continually giving my father a hard time with his work. Then I went to college.

Since then, I've been to church a record low- 6 or 7 times in the last 6-7 years outside of my Dad's current church for Christmas/Easter and weddings. I can't explain it, I just don't feel motivated to go. I still feel a connection to God, still try to live my life as Christ would have wanted (peaceful, with love in my hearts for others- although rush hour traffic and angry clients prove to be a challenge) and meditate at least once a week to clear my mind and tap into whatever prayer I have left in me.

I just don't like hearing sermons that aren't my Dad's- meaning, I liked being "in" on the message of the week. When I would be doing homework in my bedroom, I could always hear my Dad down the hallway  doing something with his message. I liked the way I could hear him flip the pages of his yellow steno notebook as he wrote furiously, liked how he would chat back and forth with the pages to find the right words for the moment and how when finished, he would recite the sermon out loud. I got to hear his writing process, got to occasionally yell out my input and was given multiple layers of the message (unintentionally). I don't like other people's sermons. I've been to one church in recent history that wasn't led by my Father where the message suited my needs: a message about truly loving one's neighbor and working with God in the Golden Rule. It was a church about 45 minutes from my house and I actually joined the choir for a brief time.

It was in that brief time that I realized church politics were everywhere with everyone. That being in choir afforded me a look into how certain members of churches will always provide some drama, will always be "that person" that just is so bored with their lives they feel the need to take away other's enjoyment and peace within the church. So, I left that choir and with that, stopped going to church.

I wish I could say this post had a better outcome. Even as I write this, I'm left baffled by the fact that my siblings are on Facebook, after their Lenten services at their respective churches and posting political-this and I'm-upset-with-you-about-that comments and articles. I wonder, is this what Jesus would have wanted for us grown-ass-people to do? to act this way? After all, we were raised in a house by parents who promoted peacefulness and non-judgmental behavior. They taught us to listen, to speak when we've truly thought out our words and to know the weight of those words.

Has anyone else ever had to deal with how they present themselves in public because of their parents' jobs? Has anyone ever felt the pressure to be someone they weren't because of social pressure? Anyone having siblings with completely diverse world views with you caught somewhere inside of it? Would love anyone's input or thoughts. Thanks for reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment