A touchy subject indeed. A lot of people are very open about their religion on their blogs. I am one of the more reserved ones. Today this entry will take you back to my childhood growing up in my church.
Columbus is where I was born. Its where my parents were born and raised, its where their parents were born and raised as far as I know. I have deep roots in Columbus, Georgia. From birth my family and I went to Wynnton Hill Baptist Church. I looked and looked for a photo of the church, and do you know...there isnt one? Isn't that unusual in this day and age of computers and the internet?
I grew up in the nursery as a toddler. We went to Sunday school and then adults went to hear the preachers sermon. Children had their own sermon geared to keep us a bit more interested. We had our own worship hall to boot. We all know how hard it was sitting quietly in church with your parents without speaking and squirming, trying to be respectful. Once a teenager you had to sit with the adults though. I participated in the youth group. We went to Wednesday night supper and worship. This was my favorite time to go to church. There was ALWAYS fried chicken...along with many other side dishes. Everyone brought covered dishes on Wednesday night. Everything home made. It seems like Wednesday nights were not so formal, things were more relaxed.
When I was fifteen we moved from Columbus. Mama was ready to go, to make a new start. Erin, Daddy and I were not so enthusiastic. I had convinced myself that I wasnt going to get in the car, then we couldnt leave. As you can see today, it didnt work. We had to move because Western Union in Columbus was closing down. The one Daddy was going to work at when we moved was in East Point. Western Union was not the same as what it is today. Daddys work was full of ticker tape machines, lots of machines and equipment. It wasnt a mail service like it is today.
I got off track there for a minute, sorry about that. We moved to Jonesboro, Georgia. We had always gone to church...and once we settled in to our home we searched for a church to go to. First Baptist Church of Jonesboro was where we landed. We went a few times...but it just never really clicked for my parents or us kids. We still held onto our values and beliefs...but never really found a church to feel at home in again. To this day, I have not gone or belonged to any house of worship, but don't be sad for me. God is not in a building. God is in your heart. God is all around you.
Ians mom and I talked a lot about religion and our beliefs when she was still alive. I still hold those conversations close to my heart today. When Ian was a boy the two of them would go to church together. His dad had to work a lot, so that was probably why he didnt go with them.
Roz and I both believed the same thing about this subject. We believe that if you keep your faith strong in your heart, and you try to be a good person and do the right things every day...that you don't need to go to a building with a bunch of people every week. I understand that many think that doing so strengthens your bond and faith with God. It may do just that for a lot of people. I am not very tolerant of crowds and people these days. I like my solitude. I have found that I feel closer to God just being still...listening, observing the outdoors. Sometimes it overwhelms me and my heart will swell with the love of the nature He has made for us.
In this day and age...the times are busy ones. Its hard to find a moment to relax and be together as a family. Every other Sunday when Ian is off, this is the perfect day to just be together as a family. I don't mean to sound disrespectful when I say, I would rather be with my family having some quality time than spending it in a crowd of people...some I know, some I don't.
The reason I don't shout my religious beliefs from the rooftops to everyone is not because I am ashamed, it is because there is a reverance and privacy to my thoughts and feelings regarding it all. Today, I have opened up that privacy for you to see. Whether you are happy or disappointed in me...it doesnt matter. What matters is that I am comfortable with my convictions.
Ian is agnostic, and I have always been alright with that. He respects my beliefs and I respect his. I do not push my beliefs on him. Shelby has been taught the basics by me...and as she gets older, she can make up her own mind.
Ian and I both agree on one thing. No one should push their beliefs on others. An invite to a local church by someone is not pushing. Keeping on about coming when someone declines the invitation, is pushing. Forcing religion on people will run them off, trust me. Its kind of like the teacher in Charlie Brown...all you start to hear is that droning wah wah..wah wah wah wah..wah wah wah..
So there it is...all layed out on the table for everyone to see. I believe this is the most revealing thing I have ever written about myself.
I thought about it, and I would like to add something. Ray, over on Dads Tomato Garden, or now called Tomato Gardening with Dad has Sunday meetings. I didnt realize until a few months ago that they had the meetings at his house. To me, this is more intimate and special...I like this and would be more inclined to go to a meeting like this, held at someones house and that is a close friend...just a thought that I wanted to put down here.
6 days ago