Growing up I didn’t go to church much. I went to CCD every Wednesday, but rarely church on Sundays. In fact, my father used to say “There’s 2 things you never talk about; Politics and Religon”. He followed that up by saying “No one wins and you won’t change their opinion”. This made sense to me. Throughout the years, I’ve listened to that advice pretty well. From time to time I’d talk about politics but it was mostly uneducated thoughts that were regurgitated from what I heard from others. I came across as moronic and ignorant. Since then, I’ve educated myself on some, yet I reserve the right to plead the “5th”. I go and vote but I keep my vote, and my opinion to myself. This particular post is not about politics however. This is about church, religion, faith, and my clothes of choice while searching for the aforementioned.
I’ve heard multiple times “My God doesn’t care if I go to church or not”. For many years, I may have concurred. Recently, my opinion on this has changed. Recently I have started questioning my faith and what it means to me. I’ve always believed in God and a higher power. I’ve never understood what it meant though. I’m not sure I do now. Like anything else I’m ignorant in, and have interest, I study and learn more. That being said, I feel like I’m not completely ignorant to religion. I feel like your faith can’t be wrong because it’s yours. I have found myself in church more often the last few months. In fact, it wouldn’t be a far stretch to say I’ve been to church more in the last few months than my entire life combined.
The church I’ve been a member for my entire life, left me with more questions than answers. It felt like I was just another butt in the pew. From time to time I did think that the gentleman up front was talking directly to me. Most of the time, I felt like as if I was just there. With anything else in life, you only get what you put into it. I’m not sure if I gave it a fair chance. I know now I am and I feel different.
As I find myself sitting in the pew, I glance to both sides of me. To my left, is my family. To my right, is more family. I realized at that point, there is no place I’d rather be. My bride, all four children, 2 of my nephews, and both my mother, and father in law were in that pew with me. In front of me is the congregation,the gentleman giving the sermon, and Christ. I’d say that’s pretty good company. At that point I figured it’s time to make the next step in my faith. It’s time to be a more regular member of church. I used to complain about getting up so early on a Sunday. I didn’t want to sacrifice my sleep time. How ridiculous is that? I’m pretty sure Jesus sacrificed more than just sleep for you and I. His problems were far greater than that of getting up at 7:30 am to better yourself and family.
I walk into church and I’m welcomed with a handshake, a “Hello”, and a “Nice to see you”. I’m ready to learn and better myself. I walk in wearing jeans, and a fleece. For years people have gone to church in dresses and suits. My bride looks stunning as usual as she is decked out in a beautiful dress with lots of other girl stuff. Proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, my girls are stunning as well. My boys? Well, my boys have picked up on dad’s poor example and may be under dressed for church. My thought is simple; I want to be comfortable while I get comfortable in my faith. I feel like Jesus is pretty stoked that I’m there and paying attention. Should it matter what I’m wearing? Personally, I don’t think so. Like many other things, I may be wrong. I like to think that Peter isn’t going to turn me away because I was in jeans.
I like the idea of knowing the people that are at church. I gotta believe they aren’t much different than me. Hard working people in your community trying to better themselves through Christ. Sounds pretty awesome to me. Someone out there knows more than me and I’m sure is willing to share it. That’s what I’ve found while searching for my faith. Everyone has an opinion on how to find it. While searching for the best church for me and my family, I reached out for advice. The single best piece of advice I got was this; “Go to where you are comfortable and welcomed. Go to the church that can help not only grow your faith, but your families faith as well”. I couldn’t find a way to argue that.
In the near future we will go through roughly 16 weeks of classes. We’ll learn all about The Bible and the way of our new church. I’m excited for the opportunity to spend some time with the leaders of our new church. I feel like after each session I’ll come out with the tools to be a better Chistian, father, husband, and overall person. I’m hoping to improve my overall quality of life through my faith. I may do that wearing jeans or sweats.
So after being an alcoholic for most of my life, I’m finally searching for my faith. After 4 years of sobriety I’m looking for Christ. After baptizing all my children, I’m ready to understand the true meaning of it. I’m ready to understand why I received my 1st communion as a child. I want to get confirmed and realize the importance of it. I want to bring my family with me for this journey. I won’t force them. I hope they see the transformation I’m trying to make and join me. I have visions of being baptized again. I have a vision of all 6 of us taking up an entire pew as we grow closer to each other and Christ.
While you chose to attend church in a suit or sweats, I’m a firm believer in it. Today I choose to ignore the advice I got several years ago. Today I will not be scared to discuss my faith or beliefs. I won’t push them on you or yours, but I want to declare right now, right here, that I will grow within my faith. I will do this by attending classes, reading, and by attending church. And yes, I may do this while wearing jeans.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is this; if I were to tell you that you can better your overall life with the greatest kind of company, why wouldn’t you? If someone can tell me how going to church and strengthening my faith is going to hurt me, I’ll gladly listen. Until then, I fully intend to to go down this journey. I fully intend to reach out to different people and ask for advice. I fully intend to raise my spirituality to heights I’ve never known. I fully intend to have a better relationship with my higher power. Chances are, I’ll do this all while wearing jeans or sweats.
My father also said “It doesn’t hurt to get a little churchen up every now and then”. That’s a bit of advice I fully plan on taking advantage of. The only questions I have are as follows. How far will I go and who’s coming with me? If you decide to come with me, I don’t care what you wear. You can even wear sweats. After all, our savior wore a pretty nice cloth that looked awfully comfortable. This chapter in my life has officially begun. Now I just have to find a name for it. While I’m searching for my faith, perhaps I’ll stumble across that answer is well. “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”. My journey has begun
By: Sam Mooney