Thursday, August 28, 2014

Goings on of a spiritual / flaky religious person

I don't call myself a Catholic, and I don't call myself a Christian.

I haven't attended Catholic masses (other than a baptism or first communion) in close to 20 years so that label doesn't work anymore.  I've only been attending a Christian church for not quite two years so I don't feel comfortable applying that label either.  Plus, to be completely honest, whenever someone says they are a Christian my brain goes into neutral and I briefly lump them into the "potential-psycho-proselytizing-anti-gay-anti-science-talk-about-Jesus-constantly" category.  Then I get to know them and figure out that they aren't this way at all (or much).

The police engage in racial profiling, and I tend to religious profile, although attending a small Disciples of Christ congregation and teaching at a Christian cottage school have helped me do this less frequently than I used to.

In all honesty, I don't want a religious label of any kind, although I think the spiritual / flaky religious person idea from the title of this post works best for me.

Next month I will be trained to facilitate Worship & Wonder on Sundays with the children aged 3-8 in the church.  This is what the boys participate in when I take them to church.  It helps introduce them to God in a way that I am unable.  My introduction to God would go something like this:
"Boys, there is this big thing I don't understand.  Now you go try to understand it.  Good luck."

Ms. J at preschool (who also attends church) thought I'd make a great W&W person and told me so.  She has seen enough of me at preschool parties to know I like kids and have a way with them.   Having known me for 7 years she also probably knows I am a sucker for compliments and will gladly agree to nearly anything if someone tells me, "Oh you'd make a great such-and-such."

(This, however, will not work if PTA people do it to me.  I'm not falling for that.)

I think, though, that learning the W&W stories will help me in a way that a Bible study wouldn't.  I have zero interest in doing a Bible study.  Though I will discuss and analyze literature all the livelong day, I don't want to do it with the Bible.  I fear I would leave a Bible study group as I left Catholic masses when I was in my early twenties:  with a headache and extremely pissed off.

Of course, I didn't think I'd be taking my kids to church so time and feelings change, and I reserve the right to backtrack.

N has aged out of W&W so I am trying to figure out a way to keep her engaged since sitting in a pew can be so.effing.boring.  I listen happily to sermons as a 40-something, but I very much remember my years and years of attending Friday school Mass and Sunday Mass and sometimes Holy Day of Obligation Mass on a Saturday which meant I was at church for 3 days in a row, which I thought was tantamount to torture.  (And still might if someone made me do it as an adult.)  Sharing the tales of my childhood woe helps minimize the once a month or so that I drag her to church.

Last night G asked, in between dinner and dorking around on computer games, "How do you know if God is talking to you?"

This is what I both love and hate about this kid: he gives absolutely no warning that he is gonna slam me with some deep, existential, theological question.  I usually just sorta stare at him for a minute, going "Uhhhhh," until my brain clicks back into the on position.

Tonight's question after he told me what he did in PE today was "Will we really see God when we die and go to heaven?"  This kid is 6, so I cannot even begin to imagine what kinds of thinking he will do when he is 12.

Now my initial thought was, "Ahem, if you end up in heaven," but I kept that to myself.  I said, "Well, I assume we see God because I think that would be one of the benefits of being in heaven.  Actually getting to see God."  He said, "Well, I'm not sure."  And that was that.

1 comment:

Keri said...

It will be interesting to see how things go with you leading the little guys! I'm sure they'll love you, and you'll learn from them and from whatever happens in your spiritual/flaky religious brain as you're teaching them. ;-)

As for G's profound Again, the "g" word comes to my mind. It will be fascinating to see how his educational experience goes. And he and Audrey should get together and search for a spiritual mother-figure they can share. She told me recently, "I wish I had a mom who's a theology expert. I have so many questions about God!" Apparently I'm not doing a good enough job answering the ones she has posed to me so far....