Back to church

Disclaimer: This post contains a little bit of religious viewpoints. If you are easily offended by religious stuff – and by that I mean you get peeved at the mention of God – turn back now.

Yesterday I did something that I haven’t done in a while – attend church.

Although I live in Cheney, I drove to Airway Heights to attend The Heights Church’s 9 a.m. service. It was the first time I had attended church in a couple of years. For the most part, I don’t have anything against organized religion. I don’t like it when people use their belief systems to hurt or demean others – and I’ve seen it in different faiths.

That said, I view Jesus Christ as my lord and savior and I try and live out his teachings – mostly loving my fellow humans and treating others the way I want to be treated. Even if I didn’t believe in God, I’d still try and be a good person because I’ve seen the positive things that come from treating others well. But there are those who need religion. It’s what keeps them from causing violence to others or themselves.

My trip to The Heights started at last week’s City Council meeting where I met with Pastor Jacob, who gave me the “where you going to church at?” I’ve known Jacob for years. I worked under him for kid’s ministry and he was at my baptism. So I knew this was coming.

After a couple of “well you know,” we talked shop a little bit before the council. He knew I hadn’t gone to church in awhile, but I don’t think he knew why. For me going to church can be a little intimidating, especially because I’m a single guy in my 30s and I happen to be in a sea of couples. In my mind, I feel looked down upon, even though no one was really doing the looking. I let that fear and paranoia prevent me from going.

That quick encounter with Jacob had an effect on me. For the last couple of weeks I’ve felt out of sync and in a bit of a slump. Part of that is because a friend – who I’ll refer to as JS – revealed she was pregnant and hadn’t told anyone about it. I didn’t know until Bri told me and he only found out through Facebook. Oh, good old Facebook.

I was angry because this was someone I considered a close friend – even though we haven’t seen each other in months and most of our conversations were back-and-forth texts consisting of “Hey how’s it going” – and I knew she would be angry with me if I had kept this big of announcement to myself. I told myself I wouldn’t let the anger and bitterness get to me, but it did.

To make a long story short, I felt like something was missing in my life, or something needed to change. One of the things I enjoyed about going to church was that it was a positive atmosphere where I could go and feel refreshed.

I attended the service and you know what – I didn’t feel judged. I was almost overwhelmed by the emotions of the service. Jacob was thrilled to see me as well, saying “my guilting you work.” We shared a laugh after that.

But my trip to The Heights to be a one-time thing. I recently filled out a volunteer application for The Heights to do multimedia, video editing or sound. Seeing as I hope to go into podcasting and multimedia in the future, this could be a good jumping off point for that.

More importantly, this is a chance to meet new people and establish relationships with others, which is something that I’ve been trying to improve in my life.

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