It has been an absolute whirlwind on the home front these last few weeks. From moving one fledgling into college to start his college career, to moving another one home after she finished hers, to playing nurse-mom post-kiddo-surgery, to tackling home projects, celebrating our anniversary, keynoting for my hometown school district, and starting a podcast and writing a book since, you know – I’m on sabbatical from my day job after 23 years so, why not? – it’s been something else.
But honestly, even in the midst of all that, the thing that took only an hour and a half of our time was somehow the most surprising.
You guys know how angsty dating is, and I’m telling you – church shopping is worse. At least you know when you’re on a horrible date that you never have to see that person again. You can walk (or run) away after excusing yourself to the restroom (hypothetically…of course I have never done that), call your best girlfriends and say, “Fine, you were right. Perhaps the convent is still taking applications.”
And then you go on about your life. No looking back.
Except when it’s church, the place where you’ve grown up, the place where you learned – right, wrong, scarring or cathartic – about a higher power, a creator, a guide, a <fill in your blank here>. It’s hard to just go on about your life without it, even though we can all understand why, in the current climate, people do.
The place where life and church intersects lately is annoying. And yet, we should have seen it coming. Every 500 years, religiously like clockwork, there is a shift. A great schism occurs. 1517 was the Protestant Reformation. The math is clear.
Instead of being astounded or frustrated by this, I think we should welcome it. We should always welcome change with open arms, no matter how confusing or scary or unknown it seems in the moment. “This too shall pass” is a favorite mantra of mine. Thank god nothing stays the same, or else I’d still be sporting giant 80’s hair and eating bologna on Wonder bread.
Please with the whitebread.
There was nothing blandly conventional about the church we checked out last Sunday. I mean, any time a well-spoken woman steps up to the podium and preaches a sermon entitled, Woe to Unfaithful Clergy, you know I’m going back.
In the midst of crazy chaos, no – especially in the midst of it, you can find a new direction to head even if you’ve felt lost for a really, really long time. For anything that matters, anything that’s worth fighting for, giving up should never be an option. Rest if you must. Take a minute if you must. Swear or sleep or cry or read or hike or DO whatever it is you need to do to get back on track. But don’t give up. Giving up is for sissies.
And you can’t fight the good fight or finish any race if you’re a sissy.