Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

A Day of Rest

14 Comments

I usually feel guilty about not going to church on Sunday morning.  Today was different.  I didn’t feel guilty at all – well, for very long anyway.  The last few times I’ve been it was essentially because of that guilt.  I didn’t go to worship God.  I didn’t go to get a word from the Lord.  I went because that’s what I’m supposed to do.  I went because I’m not really ready to answer a bunch of questions.  I went because I felt a sense of obligation to friends to be there.

Today when I got up I felt that little twinge.  But then I asked myself, “Self, what do you go to church for?”.   Self answered, “To worship God and to get a word from Him.”.  Then I asked myself, “Do you expect to do either of those things today?”  Self answered, “Not really.”  I asked myself, “Self, why do you feel guilty?”.  To which self replied, “I’m letting people down if I don’t go.” “Really, self?  Is that why you keep going?”  “No, it’s really because I’m worried what people will think.”  Now we have it.  There it is.  Self, “If no one would notice if you didn’t go would you feel this way?” “No, I wouldn’t”.  So I didn’t go.  Good bye guilt trip.  Why do I care what other people think?

I got up, got dressed and went to Cracker Barrel for their Momma’s French Toast breakfast.  I picked up a few groceries, went back home and did nothing but what I wanted to do.  I went to Carmen’s 5th birthday party.  Awkward, with the ex-husband and his new girlfriend and the whole ex-law mafia, but tolerable.  I had a good time playing with the kids.  I’m just a big kid at heart anyway.   And wild horses aren’t going to keep me away from my grandgirls.

But there I had it.  One fabulous, guilt-free, don’t-care-what-people-think day of rest.  Now I’m wondering why on earth I cared so much what other people thought in the first place.  If I have to go to church to be thought of as a decent human being people didn’t think much of me to begin with.

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14 thoughts on “A Day of Rest

  1. What DoOrDoNot said.From your heathen sister.

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  2. I feel the same twinge about not attending church more because of my in-laws reaction then guilt. Hard to disappoint people you care about.

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  3. I agree. Guilt definitely should not be in control. People should attend church because they want to nurture their relationship with God in that way, and to experience the community, and support of other Christians. D'Ma, maybe this particular church setting is not good , and you need to consider looking for a place where you can feel free to address all your questions, and concerns, to explore your faith or lack of faith more freely.If these people care for you, and are friends, they will have to be able to accept where you're at, whether they can agree or no.

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  4. I agree that guilt should not be in control but I really understand not wanting to disappoint people. I go to church because I don't want to disappoint my daughter. I remember how desperately I wanted my husband to attend when I was a believer and he had already left the faith. I haven't shared with my daughter my loss of faith because I don't want to hurt her.

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  5. That a question I keep asking myself over and over. Why do I care what other people think. The answer is I don't really know but I sure haven't been able to kick it to the curb yet. That's the whole reason why I didn't want anyone to know of my failing faith I didn't want to hurt anyone or upset anyone, so I allowed myself to suffer.Anyway, good job on dropping some of the guilt. When I manage it always feels so good to do that!

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  6. ::reads over comments::::tries to come up with something to add::Um… ditto?Yeah. What everybody else said!

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  7. That was yesterday. Who knows how I'll feel next Sunday? But I think I had a pretty major breakthrough.

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  8. From one heathen to another. Hellalujah! 🙂

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  9. I can honestly say I understand that. If I'm this concerned about disappointing my friends I can't imagine the added pressure that in-laws would make. Not only do you care about them, but this affects your spouse as well.

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  10. Thank you, Becky.

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  11. I haven't shared my status with those I'm close to either. I'm sure it will come out slowly and surely, but I don't think some big announcement is in order. It would only serve to cause friction where I don't think there needs to be any. I just can't let the guilt guide me anymore. I can't pretend to be something I'm not just to make others happy. I've been doing that far too long.

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  12. I think there are multiple layers of why we care what other people think. I'm working on a post about that now. It did feel good to just be able to internally dialogue with myself about why I feel some of the things I feel and work through that. I realized I wasn't feeling guilty for valid reasons, really. I was feeling guilty for silly reasons. That makes a huge difference.

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  13. Sometimes there just are no words…. 🙂

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