Our home was not a religious one. As far as I am aware my mother has been inside a church less than a dozen times in my lifetime. She is not a joiner, not comfortable in social situations, and I don't even really know if she truly believes in God at all. It is just something she doesn't really want to discuss. My step father was a religious man from his youth through his mid to late 30's, but by the time he married my mom (in his 60's) he had turned his back on church. I never even knew that he had once been an active member of the Catholic faith until after his death. (Side note, isn't it odd how easy it is to share your faith with perfect strangers and yet so impossibly hard to talk to your loved ones? Or is that just me?)
Anyway, in our home we did not attend church. It just wasn't a part of our lives. However, my parents made it clear that if I wanted to go to church, they would make that happen, and they did. When I hit my teens I started to get curious. Most of my friends attended the local Baptist Church and of course I wanted to be part of the group, to fit in. So my parents arranged for me to ride into town to church with a neighbor down the road who attended there. This was a lovely couple who picked me up every Sunday morning and evening, and every Wednesday evening. I was part of everything the church had to offer. I would love to tell you that I had this deep driving need to find God. What I really had was a deep driving need to get out of mowing grass, weeding the garden, cleaning horse stalls, and cleaning house. I swear my parents thought of me as built in slave labor!
Church really was my escape, my refuge from the (seemingly) never ending chores. When I started going I wasn't looking for God. Funny thing, I still found him. Another funny thing, somewhere along the way as I grew older I lost that sense of escape and refuge I went looking for to begin with. Being an adult is hard work. And sometimes I find myself treating my time in God's house as work, rather than the refuge he intends it to be. Overhearing that comment this morning reminded me how I used to feel when I was a kid. I want that feeling again. So, I am going to start trying to be more conscious of my attitude toward not only my time in church, but my overall relationship with God. After all, that is what it is all about, my relationship to my Father. And that should never be taken for granted.