Today I went to church.
Yup, good old lazy irreverent stranger-fearing brotherhood-dodging bourbon-swilling me went voluntarily to a church service — to be specific, the Lehigh Valley Quakers’ weekly meeting.
I believe this to be the first time in my forty-three years that I have attended a religious service of my own accord.
Why? I’ve thought for a while that the Quakers are closer to being right than any other faith.
I like the way they think — the notion that God speaks to and through every person … the idea that a house of worship should be simple and utilitarian, not gilded and fancy … and their commitment to social action, which I could stand to have more of in my life.
With all that, it still took me years to actually check out a service, but finally I did it. (I was charmed, during the post-service introductions, to meet a couple who had been exactly where I was until a month ago, when they decided to get off the stick and check out a service already.)
I’d like to go back, at least for a while, in part because the Quaker form of worship takes some time to get used to. I’m used to looking someplace every five seconds for stimulus … and the old-school “unprogrammed” Quaker service calls for an hour of concentrating silence. It seems safe to admit that my centering-down skills need some development.
I’m also still working through all the typical issues that come with the clash of social liberalism and religion. For instance, if I don’t believe homosexuality is wrong or sinful, why would I want to endorse any creed based on the Bible, which does?
(I’m sure everyone else figured out stuff like this at age 20 … but I’m late to the discussion and catching up.)
But, all those determinations are in the future and are yet to be discovered, accepted or rejected.
For today, I went to church, me.