Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cautiously Optimistic

(One day I'll get better about this posting on schedule thing. One day. That day is not today, but I promise, it will happen.)

So I've had a really hard time finding a church here in Albuquerque.  The last time I posted about this here was over a year ago, and I still haven't found a church that fits me. I thought I had. During the craziness of my travel last spring, on the Sundays that I was in town, I went to this one small Baptist Church. It seemed like a good fit. The people were nice. The music was traditional. There were people in the young adult class (though mostly college age people). But as time went on, I just realized that it wasn't for me. It wasn't just that I disagreed with some of the things that were said (which I did). It's that I felt if I revealed my truly geeky, crazy, encyclopedia self, I would be judged and not accepted. So not a good fit.

So I started trying churches again, and it's amazing how quickly I can get discouraged. Visiting a new church is always a struggle for me, because I have a somewhat introverted nature and I'm very aware of how weird and socially awkward I am. I never know how people will take it when I say stuff or if it's appropriate for me to speak up at all in the situation and I have no flipping clue what my place is in the group dynamics, so I spend a lot of the Sunday School hour contorting the bulletin in my hands while not making eye contact with people. Yeah....socially awkward.

Anyway, this past weekend I went to a church that I'm cautiously optimistic about. The service was wonderfully traditional. I knew all the hymns. At one point, the powerpoint guy in the back forgot to flip the slide to the next song, and it didn't matter. Because everyone (including me) knew the words. So we all sang from memory. 

The sermon was actually good. I say "actually" not because I was expecting a terrible preacher, but because when I opened the bulletin I saw that the preacher was going to be talking about the prodigal son. I kid you not. We all know how I feel about the prodigal son story and my recent revelation concerning it (and well Loki). So I was very wary, because I tend to get offended during prodigal son stories. But I didn't. And I learned something I didn't know before. (Namely, that by demanding his inheritance early, the son only got two-thirds of his inheritance, so he was essentially settling for less, which is--I think--something we've all done at one point or another...that is, demanding something too soon and settling for less). Of course, he only covered the "prodigal son" not the other one. He's doing that next week, so I guess the real test will be how I handle that. Hence the "cautiously optimistic".

Sunday School was also really good. The young adults class was actually a young adults class. Not a college class. Not a forty-somethings class. A class of twenty and thirty-somethings. There were two married couples and several single people. Finally! People my age! You have no idea how hard that has been to find. And the group does dinner every Thursday...so they do stuff outside of class. How cool! I'm looking for friends, I need friends, and this seems like the kind of group people make friends in. (Sadly, I can't go to the dinner this week because I already have plans, but such is life. I suppose it's better, so I remain "cautious" instead of throwing myself in before I know what I'm dealing with as I did with the church I went to in the spring).

So yeah. Cautiously Optimistic. I've got my fingers crossed that this is the right church for me. I will be going back next Sunday and I guess I'll just take it one Sunday at a time.

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