Thursday, May 3, 2007

New & Interesting

So, recently I found myself doing something that I had never envisioned...on Tuesday I actually joined a church. I have been going to said church for a number of months now and had not actually burst into flames, which I took to be a mightily good sign.

I don't know quite why I found this simple act so surprising, as when I look back on my life I know I have been searching for some sort of Religious identity for years and years...

Upon meeting my father the Rabbi, I assumed that all signs pointed to Judaism and really, with a parent "of the cloth" what choice did I truly have? I immediatrly set about trying to be the best Jew that I knew how. I figured hey, with a Rabbi Father as a role model I should be on the right track. I found somethings unsettling though...other than the obvious edict against Christmas trees, reindeer and jolly old actually had to pay for membership. And there were times that the doors were locked. Did you know that worship actually has "Hours of Operation"?? This sort of set me a little off center...I mean for me, I could pretty much always count on preferential treatment and after hours access to spiritual guidance should I request it...or at least in theory, this is afterall MY father we are talking about, who those that know me understand means he is not that available to anyone that isn't there for the specific purpose of lauding his achievements and personal greatness...unless there is an audience...but I I was saying, for me, the Hours meant nothing, I had a key (literally) to the sanctuary. But what of those poor lost souls whose spiritual crises did not have the good sense and courtesy to occur during convenient business hours. Or even worse, what of those in need of comfort who had NOT written out a sizable check to ensure that their souls would have a place to gather with kindred souls? Is it me or does this seem to be basically the antithesis of what people seek when they are in Spiritual need?

So anyway, I joined a church. It was utterly painless and took almost no time at all. The people are very straightforward, well meaning folk...not too fussy or prissy, just level headed and compassionate. I have never gotten the impression from any of them that they seek to compete with one another, in order to determine who is *more* devout. (I have always wondered, what does one who wins this contest receive? Is there a VIP section in Heaven? Do you get the fluffiest cloud?) And they have all regarded me with nothing more than the usual idle curiosity that one might expect when you walk into a room where no one knows you...which one must realize, in my religious history is something of a novelty...being a Rabbi's Kid (albeit unknown and invisible until the age of 17) I became quickly accustomed to being scrutinized constantly. On the plus side, it did improve my mimicry and thicken my skin somewhat to being in the public eye. On the minus, it made me feel exposed and a fake who was mere moments from being uncovered. Thankfully I found the solution...absent myself entirely from the whole mess, including said egomaniacal Rabbi Father...voila, no more stress...but I digress again...I really feel comfortable when I am there, and I find that it sets me on the right track for the week. I think it is safe to say that we are all the very best versions of ourselves that we can be when we are in church...if even only for that hour, it reminds me of the kind of person and parent that I really, truly want to be...and for that hour, I am that person...and I leave with that...and I think every week, I manage to remain that person for a slightly longer time... I joined a church!

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