I belong to a gym but I don’t go very often.
I like working out, it’s odd, once I’m there I’m very glad to be there. I like being there and in fact, I don’t mind being alone there. If I make the space for it then it’s an enriching and life giving time of quiet and focus. I can do whatever I want once I’m there. It feeds me.
I can find every excuse in the book not to go.
My neck hurts
I’m too busy
I need to be here
I have too much work
What all of these excuses speak, though, is that I’m not important enough to me to merit going. On some level it’s that I’m self conscious, I suppose. On some level it’s that I’m lazy. Mostly, I just don’t think I’m worth the time and energy to GET THERE.
Going to Liturgy is the same.
I keep saying that when I’m chrismated it will be different, I’ll belong, I’ll make time.
I have my doubts.
I wonder if I’ll get my stamp of approval and then wear it like I wear my gym membership…on my key chain, announcing that I belong but not letting on that I never go.
Consistency has never been my strong suit anyhow. I think I may have crafted this shortcoming into the framework of my identity. Now it’s simply TRUE about me. Nothing changes that because to change this idea means I must be consistent…for how long….with how much energy, how much commitment?
When I bring this to the priest what I always hope he’ll say is that it’s alright, that I can live that way. I always hope he’ll give me a hall pass and tell me just to hang it up on the ring by the door when I come back in. He doesn’t say that though. He has an expectation that I’ll be around. He’s insistent that the role of the church is one of community and engagement. Clearly, I need to pick a bigger church so that I can hide better. I’d rather fade into the woodwork so that no one knows if I’m there or not.
But is that really what I want?
And in the end should it really be only about what I want?
If I find my identity in my inconstant nature then why on earth am I following my OWN inconsistent leading?
There is an even smaller community in Nashville I’m exploring. This one is even scarier…even smaller…potentially people who really want me there I think, who will ask after me, who will ask about my family.
Criminy. That’s all I need….more questions…more expectations…
Perhaps, that is, after all, exactly what I need.