Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Mystery of the Church

It's sprinkling and I'm (a little) sore, so I think I'll stay inside and eat popcorn instead of riding. Well, that's the plan, but I have a feeling that I will eventually get my bike because that's where my head and my heart are most of the time any more.

Yesterday, after Girl Scouts, Sarah and I went to the church parking to ride. I like it there because I can get plenty of riding in, at a decent pace, without Sarah falling behind. Sarah kept getting off of her bike and checking the place out. It's a former movie theater, which is a strange thought to me. I get that there's all those seats and lots of room, but I think of that building as the place where I watched a gooey, slimy, eyebrowl-ess Keanu Reeves get reborn into the Matrix.

When I was a kid, we lived across the street from a church. My friends and I were fascinated by the place and obsessed with somehow getting inside. We spent hours over there, running around, riding bikes, playing on the lawn. I wonder what my mom thought about it? What we were doing was harmless, we didn't want to get in there to do any sort of harm, it was just the getting IN that we were focused on. Now that would be considered "trespassing" or possibly "vandalism." Eek.

Sarah kept reading and rereading the posters on the wall at the front of the church. I remembered how my friends and I were and I wondered if she was feeling the same thing. Religion has always been mysterious to me. I was raised a Christian, but we didn't really do anything Christian-y. I can remember visiting my guy's church when we were teens and I liked the way those Catholics did things - words I could not understand, lots of ceremony with props, my cute guy sitting next to me.......... there was a lot to like. I attended an Episcopalian church with another friend's family - the building was an upside boat, really beautiful inside. Most of the time my church visits were hit and miss.

About nine years ago and I decided to examine my beliefs a bit more and I decided that I'm pagan. I believe everyone is born pagan and then they learn to be something else. Churches still fascinate me and when someone says something like, "I want to thank the Lord," in the midst of a speech, as Miley Cyrus did on the Kid's Choice Awards, I have noticed that it jars me a bit. I wish I had that kind of passion for a higher power, but I don't. I love the Earth and I give thanks each day, but I've never danced naked under the moon in pagan celebration of it.

I've always been open to my children finding a spiritual home. When they are invited to a friend's church, I say, hey go ahead. I thought that was what Sarah was thinking as she read the building. I said, "Honey, would you like to try the kid's services here?" and she said, "No. I was just thinking that I'd like to ask the Mayor if they could make this into a theater again." Oops. The Mayor??

When we got home, we sat on the porch and admired our plants and plants to be. I thought about the two rides I'd taken, how I loved feeling just a little tired, just a little sore. I thought about how pretty the light looked when it peeked through the trees just before sunset and I felt pretty darn spiritual after all.

No comments: