January, February,March,April.....May. By the end of May, we begin to find ourselves getting involved in activities or events at this new facility - called church. I'm open for discussion- but please tread lightly because I'm not even in the "newbie" stage- I'm in the "learning stages" of christianity.
We attend MLL which is a night out for married couples held directly in the auditorium- it's SNL "cleaned up" some. But in very good taste and I must say the performers are quite talented! The music is awesome and the crowd is just as fun. There are skits about marital spoofs, politics, sex and usually a guest speaker who finds a remarkable way to not bore the pants off of me. Football Superstar and I are pretty taken back that a "church" even has such an event.
By now- I should be aware that this just ain't the run of the mill church. For me....it's like college - again.
Because.... for me- I've been away from my "birth" religion for years. Catholicism.
Only those who attended Catholic schools and churches are able to "get it". Not all Catholic churches are exactly the same....but chances are you will find rituals of mass very similar.
We Catholics have been taught strict codes- the only religion that is "true"- other denominations don't have it "quite right". The hard part for me is letting go of what was engrained in my young mind.
For 4 months I sit and listen to a man who wears casual clothing, mostly jeans and speaks of his past life- a life not so squeaky clean. A man who is real. A man who is full of hope for his church. I like this man. He's educating me- deeply giving me an entire new perspective on christianity. But can he change my mind on Christians?
Are you a Christian? - I'm asked. Why....are you? I didn't say that...but I wanted so badly to ask what's it to ya.
I was born and raised Catholic- you know us Catholics are in a league of our own.
OOOOOhhhhh- so are you still a Catholic? No...I'm a Buddhist. Wow- I think her eyes just popped out of her head.
Here was my problem.
Why did it matter how long you were a believer? My understanding is this: it is not the TIME of how long you are a believer- it's that you are a believer. And one who walks with Christ- all the time not when it's convenient. That's it....a convenient christian. I had this category- those who fit into the "CC".
And if you were such a believer....a Christ follower.....a Christian- why would you be strangling me with how long you've been "it". And why do you feel it's necessary to inform me of what I need to do. When I just saw you a week ago- and that wasn't your wife.
MMmmm-mmm. This is where my baptist lady comes in....head shakin', arms flappin' with an echo of uuhh-uhh-uhh, no you just didn't.
I needed to stay clear out of the path of the CC population. I'm frustrated- and I whine to Football Superstar. As he informs me there are a few number of CC's that surround him during his daily business transactions, I'm to turn my back politely and remember what Pastor S* just spoke of at the last service. How is he doing this....because I'm about to spit out some major marbles- directing them at eye level
This is the politics of church/religion I do not like.
Buddhism was simple....and for the most part...those who follow Buddha rarely boast of how long they have been, well......a follower.
I know what I need and I need to get it soon.
Eva mentions Alpha. A class that covers many areas of Christianity- God- history- doubts- the bible- for non-believers or believers- no strings attached. Okay- sign me up.
Football Superstar and I begin the 10 week class. Eva is a facilitator - but we are not placed at her table We watch a video presented by Vicar -Nicky Gumble.
We are seated with 8 other adults. We are from all walks of life. All have different views on global religion- christianity and politics. Damn, here we go.....politics.
Erasing the political views was very easy because we all respected one another as we spoke.
Yeah, I'm a talker, but I had no idea what the heck I was talking about. So, when our table facilitator would ask my opinion- I would scrunch my face up and pass. I just didn't want to offend any believers at my table....or get kicked out of class. laughing
I find myself having the same views with another woman at my table. I found S looking over at me, or I would glance over at her with my mouth open wide- ready to spit out what she was thinking. It took a few weeks before I did. Football Superstar began to speak. And why does the commercial- when EF Hutton speaks...everyone listens comes to my mind?
He's quoting, he gives an opinion, he blurts out a scripture and it's meaning. WHAT?
Where the heck did this come from?
There was another table mate- a man who had bible knowledge,a level of intellect- another Football Superstar. This was getting fun....but I am also getting slightly intimidated.
I know nothing about the New Testament. My childhood bible was in Latin. And I only remember the Old Testament.
By the time our 5th week rolled around, I find myself opening up. No more intimidation.
I feel confident to disagree or agree. Our table mates are becoming our friends.
We share so much of our past and present time that I finally see the new meaning of Christian". And I am not alone in this journey. Nor was I alone in the CC issue. My now new friend S tells me of her encounters with CC's. Her husband tells us of his co-workers and their "comic relief" hour - after he informs them of his Alpha class. People are cruel- no matter what we choose to do in our lives. If we share with them- if we dare share with them what is taking place in our lives. I do not have a tolerance for cruelty- I never will understand it.
During this time of my Alpha class- there was a lot running through my wee mind.
Tons. So much that it kept me up at night. Reading and researching. Asking mega questions to Pastor S* during class, after class, e-mails, grabbing him after service on Sundays.
I'm surprised he didn't get a restrainer order against me!
I was like a mad scientist that needed "answers".
Sometimes I would think of myself participating on Jeopardy.
"I'll take Christianity for $500, Alex" - in my snappy tone.
As Alex Trebek begins to read the answer......another contestant pushes her hand held button and states "What is Zechariah 9:9". She just won $500.
My belief is not in jeopardy- but my journey is one that I sometimes struggle to venture on.
My 10 week course is not over yet-(2009) and I know there will be other classes or courses to take -for me. But on a good note- this professor of LW has my attention which is huge.
His assistants have my attention as well. So far....no one lost me- well, I'm still there in body, my mind needs a jolt now and then.
To be continued.........
Life Lesson: Send Football Superstar to Jeopardy- will win $1,000's!