The End of Church?
February 11, 2008
It’s been a trying weekend for me. I found out Friday afternoon that my training for the new job will begin Thursday, rather than next Tuesday. I’m elated about that, because it gets me out of my present job 3 days earlier, and I get a 3 day weekend next week, but it does come with the pain of leaving a decade long job co-workers that have been here as long as I have. Additionally, I had company, in the form of my oldest step-daughter and her son. We’ve had issues since J and I started dating, and our relationship is volitile, at best. She refuses to grow up, and has a “the world owes me” attitude, which I can’t stand. I ended up spending Friday and Saturday being bitter, and not exactly on my best behavior. I barely handled 24 hours, I know I would be in a padded cell if she had moved in with us.
Sunday I was determined to be a better person. I managed to sleep until 9, then I rushed to get ready for church. I planned a Valentine’s party for my Sunday school kids, and in addition to playing and hyping ourselves up on sugar, we made Valentine’s for the senior citizens class and took them cookies. We had a great class, but it went downhill from there.
Shortly after the service began my children began arguing with one another over who’s mommy I am. Their heated words turned into a fist fight. Along with their loud words, and thrashing bodies, the service was further disrupted by my difficulty in getting them out the front door from our center-pew position.
Eventually my mom and I tag-teamed them, each taking a child. They caused quite the show, yelling the whole way out the door, “don’t whip us, we’ll be good”. Of course, to me that’s more reason to whip them, and that’s what I did.
They calmed down, and we went back in, but our peace was short lived. My oldest began incessantly making loud nose-blowing noises, and when I asked him to please stop, he began yelling that he couldn’t help it. Loud. Oh, and did I mention that this was during prayer? I ended up taking them to the back, in the nursery, which I know is not a solution, where I spent the remainder of the service laying face down in the floor, crying uncontrolably, and swearing off church for the rest of their respective childhood’s while they played with toys.
This is not the first time I’ve made that threat, and I know in my heart that swearing off church is not the answer, but convincing my head of that fact is rather difficult. I would’ve given up a long time ago if not for my husband insisting we continue to go. It’s just plain hard when I spend Sunday school teaching the collective children of our church, and the worship service trying to reign in my kids. I feel like I’m not being spiritually fed, and I have felt that way for a long time.
Just getting 2 kids and myself ready for church is a feat, but when I have to prepare a lesson, knowing I’m not going to get much, if anything, out of the whole process makes it difficult for me to be excited about church. Sometimes I think I’m doing the right thing, but other times I long to be a part of a “megachruch”. I want to go somewhere where someone else teaches the kids, where they have a children’s church program, and I can just sit and fellowship and worship. Where I would be free of so much responsibility, and could occasionally…….I don’t know, hear a sermon.
I don’t know where this is leading, but I do know that I can not continue on the downward spiral that I am on. I feel in my heart that I need to give up teaching, but in our small church I don’t know if anyone would step forward and take my place. I would hate to see the program, that I worked so hard to build the past 5 years, go down the toilet due to a lack of commitment. In the end, I suppose it boils down to control.
Next Sunday, J’s nephew is getting an award for an art project and we are attending the out of town ceremony, which I am using as a convenient excuse to take the next week off. After that, maybe my prespective will be brighter, and my problems will seem miniscule. I’ll keep you posted.