Someone very wise once told me to always write about what you know.
Unless what you know is religion. If it's religion's what you feel the urge to get onto paper maybe you should take a writing course.
But screw it.
Have you ever had a crush on someone and thought they were ever so smart and clever, and had good judgement, and whenever everything you thought turned out wrong they would be there with this almost golden perspective?
Then did Mr Golden Perspective ever turn round to you and say:
"I think you should try going to church."
"Church?" I spluttered in a sort daze, waiting for the punch line sure to turn up at any second on the end of the phone, and almost certain to be smutty and about Nuns.
"Really. Church, I've been going for a while now, I just felt like something was missing and.."
"Sorry, hold on. Church? The place where you pray to..." I paused waiting for him to finish my sentence and hoping against hope that he wouldn't.
"Pray to God, yes. I can hear your facial expression, stop taking the piss."
I didn't want to offend him, but I was stunned into continuing, so I went on:
"So God is...?"
"Good?" He answered.
I was holding my breath and hoping he would say 'real' and then my fears would be confirmed and my crush dashed forever. But *DING*: 'Good' was also up there.
I should point out right here that, OK, how do I word this. I am not the Anti Christ. I don't condemn all that go to church. I think that in some communities and for some people church and religion holds it's place.
I don't go to church. But I do think often religion serves a purpose in many peoples lives. A comfort, a way of making friends, a routine, some form of safety, an answer to a very difficult question. And if that helps who am I to make fun of it?
I don't believe in God. My relationship with 'Him' is hazy and changeable at best. I find it hard to put my belief into something I can neither see or feel. I will get to what I do have faith in later.
I probed a little further, still in disbelief that a person so logical could be actively taking part in religion. Using the adjective going. To go to church.
"So, hot woman Vicar?" I asked trying to steer the conversation back to somewhere more light hearted.
"Oh Jesus, it's choir boys, isn't it?"
"Fuck sake, no! I'm just going to church and I think that you should perhaps consider doing the same."
So that was that. I felt like I was being invited into a cult. I know that is a very extreme and wrong conclusion to jump to but the idea that he was even recruiting now was unsettling.
But surely it isn't just me. Perhaps the God part I can get over, the need to believe that our shitty decisions aren't always a product of our own making, that someone else can perhaps giveth and taketh away. But leaving the house to go to church? I mean isn't God available via download yet? Can't I just listen to his podcast on the bus the same way I keep up with the latest movie reviews?
Of course I am partly joking. Please don't hate me.
But church isn't for everyone. I believe that we all have to find causes and people and things that we want to fight for and which define our being. Things to give us a reason and a purpose for being here. God and whoever else knows that it's not just to own the latest Audi TT and buy a mortgage, flat screen TV and monogrammed towels.
This will sound corny, however I write it, but I choose to believe in people. The things that I can see and feel around me. I believe in the power of my decision and my decisions to deal with their effects.
I'm doing something a little different today. I'm attaching a YouTube clip of a brave young woman no older than myself. Her name is Lizzie and she inspired me to revisit the awkward conversation I once had with a former crush and made me really think; what defines me? How do I deal with life and all the shit it throws up? It isn't by going to church.
Just click on the word 'Source' below, and have faith with me on this one, I promise there's a link to what I'm trying to say.
P.s- I have to add that actually the crush in question has just started dating
someone from his church. I feel the urge to write here: I TOLD YOU SO!