church skipping

skipping086I was feeling so rough yesterday morning, somewhere between a head cold and the flu but at the same time I couldn’t face staying in the house as that would have made me feel even worse.
So I jumped on the bus and went into Belfast, passed by church after church up the Lisburn Road and tumbled out at St George’s Market for 10am.

When you grow up in the sort of Christian home that didn’t do any shopping on the Sabbath, that didn’t watch TV on the Sabbath, that went to multiple church services on the Sabbath there is a certain amount of guilt from not going to church on the Sunday morning at the age of 34.
I don’t hear my parents tutting anymore but there is a certain feeling that you are ‘backsliding’ as you drink a coffee by yourself on a Sunday morning   at the market instead of rigidly sitting in a grid formation looking at some elderly mans head dressed in a grey suit making a  passing attempt to sing a hymn from the 1800’s.  Also, I’m married to a minister so how does that look?

skipping a088

I was wondering what to make of this all yesterday morning as young foreign students  met each other outside the Europa for a coach trip away, as artists sold their hand made cards in the market, as older gentlemen drank their coffee and read the paper in Cafe Nero.

You wouldn’t believe how stressed it makes me coming to church on a Sunday morning. Or maybe you would if you have a similar experience.
I sweat like mad with the type of sweat no deodorant can handle. Its not your normal  almost sweet smelling sweat from a game of football say or a brisk walk, it’s the type of sweat from doing a presentation or some test of endurance. Why is that? It supposed to be meeting with friends or a community that loves each other. And I know people are lovely and loving but broken as well. I know this yet it seems like an ordeal on Sunday morning. Why do I feel so tense? Why the sweat? Why the having to drag myself along?

This  is why I didn’t turn up yesterday morning. Feeling below the weather I couldn’t face it for whatever reason.

The imagery from this classic creepy ad from Apple was on my mind a bit as well.

It’s a bit of an ugly ad, it creeps me out.
But that is maybe because it touches a nerve. Or it reminds me a little bit of my church experience and something I keep on imagining, through multiple sermons.
I often be sitting in the service and my mind starts wandering. Suddenly I see a football being crossed in from the other side of the church and I rise up to connect with a sweet right footed volley that ripples in the back of the net. Goal!

I’m not sure what all of that means. Or maybe I’m too tired to explain it.


6 thoughts on “church skipping”

  1. Our place had no heat yesterday morning – so in a particularly wussy decision – curtailed the service to about 20-25 minutes. Then folk stood around for the next hour drinking hot tea/coffee and chatting. Not sure the brevity was absolutely necessary, but it certainly pepped up the sense of community afterwards.

    PS: In Lisburn I’ve fallen in love with Molly’s Parlour (Castle Street coffee shop) which now opens late to 9pm.

    1. ah Molly’s Parlour, I used to be in there loads but have curtailed my coffee drinking a bit now around Lisburn. It would prob be in a great location for students if the food in the college canteen or whatever it’s called wasn’t so cheap. The coffee is 90p there. I also noticed last week that there is a coffee shop open in Lisburn Cathedral. Lisburn bemuses me as if it’s going to call itself a city then there should be at least the option of getting something like a coffee somewhere after 5pm.

  2. This is probably an obscure enough section of cyberspace for me to own up allowing (no- encouraging!) Mrs Minister to mitch off one Sunday morning to staff a stand at a local car boot sale. Reasons too complex to mention and they’re not that important, but it was interesting having to deal with the same guilt issues. Seeing what the rest of the world is doing on a Sunday morning is certainly educative. I’ve managed to “skip it” several times while on sabbatical (not always deliberately) but it is ok to have a break and ask some foundational questions re community and how we (don’t) do it.

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