Today I was able to sit through worship without giving myself a headache. I don't know why precisely. However, it may have a bit to do with the fact that I'm trying to put more energy into living my life in a way which is meaningful to me, whether or not I know why or how I'm here on this earth. I can choose to love and share with others who can't give back, be patient with the cashier who discusses each item I purchase, teach my children to look friends in the eye and say thanks, enjoy bike rides with my family, and sit in the backyard at night appreciating the few stars visible in the city. Whether or not there is a God, whether or not Jesus died for me, whether or not the Bible is the inspired word of God, I choose to live this way.
Today at church I still found myself disagreeing with the minister and sang songs I wasn't sure I meant, but I wasn't so irritable and disconnected. Maybe I will be next Sunday. However, today I actually completed a form agreeing to assist in some aspects of the children's ministry. Now, I'd still have difficulty teaching the creation story or Noah's flood to children, but I can help the childrn's ministry with efforts to let kids provide care for those in the inner city. I'm the sort of person who tends to be involved and invested in the communities of which I am a part. but, I've felt increasingly like an outsider at church and someone who doesn't give enough back to warrant being there. That's a role I don't enjoy or want. Until I reach a point where I am no longer attending my congregation, I'd prefer to find a way to stay connected to it. Though my disagreements with the standard doctrines of my denomination are numerous and ever increasing, I still value much that fellow church members tend to value and promote at church: love, generosity, gratitude, benevolence. I like that my congregation spends time, money, and sermons on improving the quality of life in the community, with a special concern for the poor. I'd hate to become so absorbed in wrestling with my beliefs that I neglect opportunities to serve and care for others around me. Eventually I may need to carry out this service in a completely different setting than my current congregation, but for now, this is where I am.