26 January 2008

What Would Jessiqa Do?

I don't think I've gone to church once since August. Maybe July. This is the longest no-church stretch I've ever had. Ever. Even when I was having my religious crisis/doubts/exploration I went every now and then. (That was mostly just to make Mom happy, though.) This is different. I'm experiencing no crisis, no real lack of faith. I just lack the desire to attend church. Weird. Because I enjoy the experience when I'm there. The music, the incense, the prayer, the whole of the liturgy really, it's all very beautiful.

I think part of my hesitation is that it's been so long. I feel like I don't belong anymore. Frankly, I never belonged in the first place. That's my fault. I almost never stayed after liturgy for coffee hour. I never bothered to get to know my fellow parishioners. I didn't want to. I always viewed St. Nicholas' as just a temporary thing. It's only the church I attend because I'm stuck in Danville. It's not home. Why make connections to people when I know bloody well I'm leaving again. I haven't left yet, but I'm working on it. I hope to be gone before Pascha. Is it wrong that one of my main reasons for getting a job and getting out of here is that I'd rather not go to confession here again? See, I converted to Orthodoxy from being Baptist, so of everything, confession is probably the most awkward and alien to me. But it's even more awkward with Father James. Way more than it was with Fathers Joe and Michael at St. Joe's in Wheaton. I always feel guilty talking to Father James because I don't get involved in any capacity at St. Nicholas'. Besides, I never really know what to confess. I've discussed swearing and smoking and apathy and other stuff. He says not to confess things I've confessed before because I've already been forgiven for them. Great. But I continue to do them. So now what? Should I instead ask forgiveness for not bothering to try to be better? 'Cause other than that, I've got nothing. It's not like I go about trying to commit new sins just for the hell of it. I'm running out of things to confess and so I just stand there awkwardly in an already awkward situation and ugh--I just hate it. So if I can be somewhere else, at some other church by Pascha, by the time I need to confess next (confession is mandatory once a year, usually at lent), then maybe I won't feel so uncomfortable.

Maybe. Or maybe this is a crisis in faith. As I said, I really enjoy the liturgy. I pray every night, but that's mostly by rote. I rarely read the Bible. I used to do that every night as part of my prayers. I pre-ordered the new study Bible, so that's cool. I just have this whole lack of interest, I guess. This is true in most aspects of my life, so why not here as well?

I'm going to set my alarm. I'll at least get that far, which is more than I've done in a long long time. I may turn it off again when I wake up, but at least I'll make the initial effort tonight to go to church tomorrow. Goodnight.

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