Welcome to Loving the Journey! I’m new to the blogging community, but I have a lot of questions and thoughts about spirituality and religion, and I thought it might be easier to weed through them all by writing them down as they come to me. I figured if I’m going to do that for myself, there very well may be other people who have similar questions or experiences and want to take the journey with me.
My “religious” journey began shortly after birth with my baptism into a Catholic church in south-central Wisconsin. Both of my parents were raised Catholic, and I suppose at the time it seemed the right thing to do. After all, most of the rest of their families had done something similar with their children. Plus, they were raised Catholic and I suppose they probably attended church semi-regularly at that time anyway.
I grew up attending church intermittently. In fact, a few of my earliest memories have to do with church. For example, I vividly remember walking home with my Dad after church one day (in the ONLY dress I would wear as a kid – a cute pink thing) and tripping and scraping my knees on the sidewalk. I should actually face facts though and admit that I probably wasn’t walking nicely, I was probably looking at everything and everyone I could, running ahead, falling behind, picking dandelions, annoying the heck out of my Dad, and any number of other things all at the same time. Either way, my Dad had to carry me all the way home that day.
The other vivid memories I have of church involve the early realization that I never yawned more often in my life than when I was in church. I couldn’t help it, it seemed like no matter how awake I was before the service, 5 minutes in, I was covering my mouth every few minutes. It was an unexplained phenomenon as far as I could tell, but I figured if god made us able to yawn, he could probably find it in his heart to forgive me. I have now come to realize that it had nothing to do with the fact that I was bored (well, maybe a little) but it had almost everything to do with the fact that the priest NEVER seemed like he was talking to me. Everything was very unclear, and for a child, it was nearly impossible to see how anything he was saying could relate to my life.
The first time I went to confession, I was so completely stressed the entire time I was there because I couldn’t figure out what on earth I could possibly have to confess. As I recall, I went into that booth with sweaty palms, babbling to the priest about how I fought with my sister or didn’t help with the dishes like I should have. Things that, looking back, I can’t possibly imagine god cared about. And frankly, very few of the things I would have to confess even today, I do not think god would care about, either. He has bigger fish to fry than worrying about the fact that I didn’t pick up my dog poop in the weeds at the park in the dark, or that I eat way more than I should, or that I picked up a ten dollar bill I found on the ground at a bus stop at 5:00 in the morning while I was running and kept it because it wouldn’t have been worth my time to try to hunt down who it belonged to.
These are just some of my early memories of church, and some of the reasons I chose not to be confirmed into the Catholic church. I think this discussion deserves more than a few paragraphs behind it, and I’ll explain in detail how I came to the conclusion that organized religion just wasn’t for me in my next few posts.
Again, welcome, and thank you for taking this journey with me! I welcome comments, but please be respectful, and realize that everyone has different opinions and beliefs, and that’s OK.