Don’t forsake the Church services?
It’s not God I have a problem with, it’s most of His ground control staff that I just can’t seem to get along with. Then again, I’m a hermit and prefer spending most of my days just by myself. I’m not much of a people person to begin with.
As a child, my mother would take us to church with her. A Chinese/Indonesian church in the capital city of the land of wooden shoes and tulips.
They preach about the Bible basics, like all churches do: Be good to others, to not judge another but give aid where possible. But as soon as the Sunday service was over, hardly anyone in church would practice those teachings. I was flabbergasted by the selfishness and ruthlessness among church people. It was a mayor turn off to me. And so in my teens I decided to not go to that church anymore.
After that I’ve tried many other churches. After all, the Bible teaches us that we should not forsake the gatherings. But most of the gatherings I’ve tried to attend were quite disappointing. And it’s not that God was dissapointing me, but like I stated above; most of His self-proclaimed ground control staff are a turn off.
In times of need, I discovered that most non-religious folks where more “christian-like” than the people I’ve encountered in churches.
Now, I’m not saying all church people are bad. Nobody’s perfect, that’s for sure. A lot of church people, do seem to portrait themselves as if they are holier than the other.
But my mother never stopped going to that Chinese/Indonesian church. She says herself that she dislikes some of the things that occur there, but can’t seem to let go of that place just yet. Whenever I ask her why, she simple tells me: “Nobody’s perfect, we all make mistakes. Even church people. By simply not going to church anymore won’t solve anything.”
Deep down, I know she is right. But I still can’t put myself to step foot in that church ever again.
Since about 3 years, my mom is going to two churches even. She found another, much smaller, Indonesian church. Yup, so that’s two Sunday services on one day. Talk about devotion!
Soon, my mom was assigned the task to translate Indonesian pastors, so that Dutch church goers could understand the service too. And each time she returned home from those gatherings, she was more cheerful than she ever was when she would return from the other church.
It made me curious. There must be something really good about that small Indonesian church, that my mom comes home every Sunday with a good vibe. And so I went to their Christmas service in 2013.
The people were so warm-hearted. And the pastors would sit with the other church people, as if they were equals. It was something I hadn’t seen in other churches before. But I still wasn’t convinced, because what might seem good at first could turn out to be quite the disappointment later on.
In the quiet
So while mom kept going to church, I held my own private praise and worship marathons in the comfort of my own home. Just me, some Christian instrumental music, my shabby voice and my focus on God.
Despite of what I went through, how deep I had fallen or how bad things were going in my life at a certain point, I never wanted to give up on that. Because I love God. For it’s not the responsibility of others to keep me faithful, or take my faith from me. Keeping faith is my own personal task in life.
Then what happened…?
Then it was old years eve. And like many, I reflected back on that year and on the passed 3 decades that I’ve lived on this planet so far. Regretting a lot of missed opportunities and mistakes. Regretting how I never picked up singing again, something I had enjoyed doing in my teens.
And just as I was thinking about those things, my mom got a phone call. It was the pastor of the small Indonesian church. He and I had spoken briefly after the christmas service, but I never mentioned anything about my desire to sing. Yet this pastor called to ask whether I would like to sing on New Years Day, during the Sunday service. One thing lead to the other… And now, I sing in the church band every Sunday for roughly 2 years now.
Some days I feel more motivated than other days. Some days, my allergy towards general church people plays up. Those days I just want to throw in the towel and quit, hide back in my safe haven as the closet hermit I am. Especially since a few weeks have I been asking myself why the heck I am still going to this church. But maybe it’ll get better? The only way to find out, is to stick around and see what happens next. God have mercy.