Sunday, November 15, 2009

Organized tradition

I love the weekend, especially when I'm home. I sure hope I'm not turning into one of THOSE people.

I started to blog yesterday about a funeral I had to go to/went to but I stopped because everything I wrote sounded contrived and maybe a little bit to personal for TtheD. Not that this isn't a place I could do that. Sometimes writing things down makes them a little too tangible and I had a Duck game to watch yet later in the day, so I needed to be a little bit more on top of my game. Not all deep and introspective and reminiscent. About THAT kind of stuff. I guess I'll just skip to the moral of the story - live a good life by being considerate of others and you will pretty much accomplish what God expected of us all along.

I've been to church twice in the last week, the most I have been to church collectively in probably five years. I only go when there is a (Catholic) funeral or (Catholic) wedding. I was raised Catholic, did the whole Catholic grade school gig and even was forced to go to CCD when I switched over to public high school. I think I know that religion pretty well. It's not a bad religion, as they go, but I was raised with the idea that if you didn't go to church, missed a week or two, and didn't go to confession about it, you were in trouble. You also shouldn't go to communion until you went to confession.

Last Sunday Barbie and I were in Ontario and we went with Helen (and AJ Feely's dad). We sat in the very last row, and I think that I was the only person in the joint who sat out communion. Everyone noticed. Everyone sort of looked me over and wondered what sin I committed that kept me from participating (well, at least that was my perception of it). Barbie went, despite my whispering in her ear about how she was going to hell for the sin of pride (she's not a church-goer either and my theory was that she just wanted to be seen), but as it turns out the body of Christ didn't turn to fire on her tongue and there were no lightening strikes in the church parking lot on the way out, either, though I kept my distance from her. She went yesterday for the funeral mass, too (I didn't - again, people noticed. I told a woman behind me I wasn't going because I hadn't been to confession in 30 years - she looked like she wanted an explanation), but again, no gigantic condemning finger pointing down at her from the heavens at the end of it. Maybe God doesn't care. My mom does, but maybe God doesn't.

So I guess what the point to all of this might be is that religion is for the people, not God. I honestly don't think that God expects us to meet in groups and worship if it isn't our gig. I think what God wants is just that we be considerate and nice and try not to be too selfish and give of ourselves what and when we can. I'm sure he probably likes the worship part, all those different services to the same guy, I mean, that's gotta be fairly flattering (except for the whacky stuff like snake handling and speaking in tongues, he probably pops a bowl of popcorn and settles in to watch THAT stuff), but I don't think he is separating out the church-goers from the non-church-goers and saying, These ones are more holy. I think that if people just go to church because they HAVE to, or because there are certain rules associated with going to church, that might actually have the opposite effect on God. He's probably thinking, Go because you want to, not because you feel like you have to.

So why won't I go to communion? Because I still believe in the sacraments. Some things just stick in your head. I think if you are going to join in the organized religion tradition you have to play by the rules. Just like football (we all know God is in Eugene loving the Ducks right now, I mean, who isn't?). It's not necessarily out of respect for God, it's more out of respect for the priest (and the three monsignors and two bishops who attended this funeral mass yesterday).

In other news, did I mention I finally went to El Pollo Loco? Twice, no less. It was fine. It's expensive-ish for lunch. All that hoopla (on my part) for some grilled chicken. I have also been pretty good at tanning but not this weekend for some reason, and I have just under three weeks before vacation. Did I mention that? And did I mention my hand is still killing me? And also that after day one of the crow I never heard it again, which means either it flew away or it it died and I will hear from it once it starts to smell? And that for some reason I keep having dreams about rats and I'm not really sure what THAT means? And that it is cold out, I mean really cold and I can't wear a coat or socks until December 1st? And that after writing that it dawns on me that during the course of a winter I slowing lose socks and that I should probably do some kind of pre-season sock inventory and replace what has been lost before December 1 rolls around and I am fired up to have warm feet but have a drawer full of mismatched socks? And that now that I'm thinking about December 1 I'm realizing it's also flannel sheet season and if I recall it's time to get some new ones?

I guess we all have our traditions, and it's Sunday (no Browns game though so no draining the battery on my iPhone watching Gamecast; no, this week the Browns get to show their no-talent selves get the complete shit kicked out of them by the Ravens on Monday Night Football for all the world to see...), so I'll get some errands out of the way, tan (I swear) and then perhaps nap (ha ha, I said "perhaps"). But because it's Sunday, I promise to keep the road rage to a minimum.

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