Am I doing it wrong?

For some random reason, about last Thursday I guess, I started having this overwhelming urge to go to church.  I have no idea why, other than maybe it's because I've been feeling like my life has become the epitome of out of control, but whatever.  It's not like I was hearing voices or anything, just out of the blue one day I think to myself, self?  Go to church.  Since I kind of talk to myself a lot, and most of what I say is random thoughts and makes not a lick of sense to those around me, I didn't put a whole lot of stock in it.  I mean, for all I knew it could be a guilty conscience thing because the pastor of my church just added me as a friend on facebook, and he was subliminally sending me peer pressure.  So I ignored it and went about my day.  But as Friday came and went, and then Saturday, the need to go to church just kept building and building to the point where last night I actually set my alarm to go to church.  If you know me, while this is a step in the right direction, it by no means is a form of commitment.  I am NOTORIOUS for being able to sleep through over an hour of alarm bells and whistles.  The only reason why I ever get up in the morning is because I want to, not because some electronic device is screaming at me.  So this morning the alarm goes off, and I, as per my norm, shut it off without even waking up.  Until about 9:30am, when, again, I feel like getting up and going to church is what I'm supposed to be doing.  So I wake up The Smoodge, crawl out of bed to get her breakfast, then start getting ready.  Since church is in New Braunfels, we have to be gone by 10 to make it.  And surprisingly, she eats quickly, I dress us both, and out the door we go.

I spent the whole driving thinking how God must realize that I really needed some sort of spiritual enlightenment and uplifting, and how today's service would be inspirational and gear me with the tools I need to make it through the next couple of weeks.  Only a small part of me is afraid that I'm going to get rammed head on by an 18wheeler at 70 miles per hour on the way there, because, let's face it, with my luck, I WOULD get an urge to do something that would lead to an accident.  But no, we get to church, I get The Smoodge checked in at the nursery, take a deep breath, and in I go.

All this urging and pressure and everything to go to church, and you know what happened?

Nothing.  Not a thing.  

Now don't get me wrong, it was a decent service.  No better, no worse than any other.  But surely I didn't wake up early on a Sunday morning to drive 30 miles and experience nothing?  I didn't feel touched, or enlightened, or...anything.  And I was definitely in a place to be receptive, both physically and emotionally.  Instead, I felt alone.  And empty.  I sat by myself.  I saw people I knew and smiled to be friendly and was ignored.  Even by the pastor himself.  

I don't know what this was supposed to show me.  How truly alone I really am?  Got it.  Thanks God.  I'm not angry, just confused.  I don't expect miracles, and I don't expect special treatment.  But I didn't expect my emptiness to be magnified in a place that I felt like I was supposed to go to.  I've always believed that I don't have to go to church to believe in God, or have a relationship with God.  I feel closer to Him in the evenings when I'm holding my daughter as she falls asleep than when I'm in church.  But every now and again I think it's good to go and experience the group interaction.  It's kind of like how a car needs gas.  I don't have to sit at a gas station all the time to have gas in my car.  I just have to go when I need a refill.  And I guess I just assumed that the direction I was being SHOVED in with going to church today, God was telling me I needed a refill.  So why didn't I get one?

Out of curiosity, and on a slightly different note,  can I consider the gas it took me to get there and back my tithe?  I mean, technically I spent more in gas on the drive than I would have actually put in the collection plate. 


christina said...

I thought a lot about this post over the last couple days - it's interesting that you say that nothing happened, when in fact you learned a lot about yourself and maybe even a little bit about God. The important thing in your story is that you didn't ask any questions, you just got up and went. The fact that you drove 30 minutes means that you weren't close to where you live, so maybe the idea was to just GO, then realize that this place was no longer for you, and for you to try out some other place closer to you. Maybe that place will be better, and now that you've had this experience that you wrote about, you know what you're NOT looking for.