Humor · spirituality

Church Chat

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If there’s one thing I dread discussing — it’s religion.

All those pesky questions: Who created us? How did we get here? Why are we here? Where are my car keys? I just had them a second ago and — oh. Someone put them in the fridge. Ahem. Anyway. So yes…lots of questions. If you happen to think you have a good grip on some of the answers, there will always be some jackass to say that you are “wrong, wrong, wrong!” –and your ultimate fate is burning in hellfire for all eternity.

The two ultimate goals in my lifelong spiritual path?

1) To get to the actual truth.
2) To not be that jackass.

I was raised to find my own way, discover my own mysteries in life. I took cues from my grandmother who was deeply religious yet hardly talked about it. My parents tried not to cram their views down my throat. They allowed me to get to know either God or Buddha or the Big Void of Nothing in my own time.

Monroe_Methodist_Church_pews

My earliest memory of church-y things was when I was around 6 years old. My dad had a part time job cleaning the local Baptist church and once dragged me and my brothers along on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I was mesmerized by the giant stained glass Jesus peering down at me as I skipped around the empty pews. Hmm….he seemed like such a nice guy! Maybe he could be my friend? His eyes were warm and understanding.

Jesus-with-Open-Arms-Stained-Glass-Window
((Cue the angel choir))

Suddenly my bowels cramped, gripping me with fear. Oh no! Would Jesus be mad at me if I pooped in the church bathroom? Jesus seemed to wink down at me and chuckle, “Well, my Dear One, God created you AND your need to poop. So it’s okay, go on. Poop away, my child, poop away. I love you and everything about you. Even the poopy parts.”

And so began my lifelong relationship with God*. As I grew older there were a couple things I knew for sure in my heart: He was good. He was all about love, acceptance and forgiveness. He was like a close friend of mine, always there if I needed to talk. And He was hilarious.

Of course, my spiritual beliefs weren’t always so solid. I read the Bible many times as a kid, purely out of curiosity. (Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case was out on loan.) Then I entered college and read it again (Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Disgusting Sneakers was out on loan). Only this time with fresh eyes, more cynical. I used my Big Brain and thought, well I’m much too smart to believe in something that I can’t prove, right? This book was written by mere mortals after all. There were lots of parts I didn’t believe in (and still don’t.) I thought maybe religion was for suckers. For people who have their own sins to hide, so they use religion as a shield to protect their own personal ego and pride (I still think this to be true for some).

I flip-flopped between believing in some Big Creator and thinking, maybe there really IS nothing else? How clever I was! I had discovered the real truth! Maybe others who believed in God were brainless sheep?

But I remembered that fateful poopy day in church, I love you no matter what. And that experience of feeling completely accepted and loved, plus the countless personal experiences that I’ve had with God since (none involving poop) have shaped my faith over time and made me the person I am today.

So I’d like to stand up now and say something.

Hi, my name is Darla and I believe in a Creator*.

The most important thing I’ve realized in my quest? This is my story. These are not your memories. This isn’t about what you believe and don’t believe in. I am me and you are you. And we are all together. Goo goo g’joob. So how can I possibly condemn others for their own views? I don’t care if you believe in God, Buddha, The Big Nothing or Justin Bieber. Whatever works for you and brings peace to your heart (OK, I take back Justin Bieber) because you are on your own path and finding your own Truth in your own time, just like me.

I’ve never understood religious fanatics who pound on my door to tell me they know the answers and it’s their duty to tell me. It’s like they’re carrying a punch-card: Convert 10 People and Win a Free 6 inch Subway!

Eat Fresh!
Eat Fresh! And Repent Your Sins Now with Double the Meat!

Well, you don’t need to convince me of anything. I’ll be fine, really. Because when I am dying and facing the reality of things, you won’t be there beside me, will you? No one will — it’ll just be me all alone, facing my own deep and intimate relationship with the Source and the Unknown. And when it comes down to it, all that matters in the end is what I know in my own heart to be true.

My simple truths (not yours, mine, so take a chill pill) about religion and spirituality:

None of us knows for sure what is the Ultimate Truth of All Things.

For crying out loud, we can barely figure out how to program a DVR or how to make a good cup of coffee.

If you do believe in something, great. If not, fantabulous.

But try not to tell others they are obviously wrong.

Never treat anyone with disrespect, no matter what they believe in.

Unless it’s Justin Bieber.

Don’t go pounding on doors to tell people they’re going to burn in hell if they don’t go to your church.

Especially when I’m in the middle of a Golden Girls marathon and still wearing my bathrobe. I appreciate your concern, but I think I’ll be just fine. It’s a nonflammable robe.

Everything in life is about two things:

LOVE and ACCEPTANCE.

We are here for only three things:

  • to experience
  • to learn
  • to eat chocolate

Get it? Is that so hard, people? Sheesh.

And finally,

If you have to poop in a church bathroom, it’s okay.

I know God is laughing at me right now for that last one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Creator, God, Source, Spirit, He, She, It…whatever.

Image result for church lady snl
Amen, sister! (Betcha didn’t even notice I Photoshopped the pic from above the post. My resemblance to Dana Carvey is uncanny!)
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47 thoughts on “Church Chat

  1. There is definitely a Divine hand involved in that photoshopping – holy poop*!!!

    Love seeing the alert that my favorite Maineiac has a new post, and as for my response to the content? AMEN!!

    *I shall never look at #2 the same way again. Thank you, God/Source/Buddha/Justin.

    1. Whenever I think about #2, I think Justin Bieber.

      Can you tell I wrote this post awhile ago and it was sitting in my draft folder getting all moldy? So I thought I’d spiff it up with some bleach and slap it up here since I can’t seem to post anything anymore….sigh…

  2. I’m still not sure about “Is there a God?” or “Why are we here?” after reading this, but you have answered the most important question, that it’s OK to poop in a church bathroom. I’m relieved, or at least I will be.

  3. I’m pretty much in your camp when it comes to God. I wish everyone had a direct experience of God. I had one in particular that left me in a puddle of tears, the love was so overwhelming. It was during a workshop about tuning into our intuitive heart. Absolutely incredible. So glad you dusted this off and put it out. Needing some laughs this morning.

    1. So happy you liked it, Susan!

      I honestly think that if we all had a chance to consciously remember who we truly are, to wake up to our divine selves, and realize that we all are connecting all the time to Source, the world would be transformed completely! What I realized during my past life regression therapy is that we all have this ability to remember and the truth is always there deep deep down and we just forget. That we are all from the same energy and all in this together. Waking up is remembering this. Once you wake up, you never go back!

  4. Hi there, I believe in God as does my husband but none of our daughters say they believe, I am ok with that they are grown women who can decide for themselves, their father thinks differently he feels they should believe because he does. You can’t make someone believe what you believe it just doesn’t work that way

  5. Having lost both our parents in less than 9 months has me pondering many topics such as yours. I do believe in God and Heaven and hope I can get there, after probably many years/centuries, in Purgatory (the stepping stone in Catholocism).
    Well said, Maniac. So glad to read you again!

  6. I often wrestle with the concept of converting others to one’s point of view. It’s never good to tell people they’re wrong, wrong, wrong and going to hell for sure. On the other hand, if you discovered something going on that was absolutely fabulous, like 2 for 1 on Reese’s Peanut Butter cups at the local store, wouldn’t you want to share that knowledge with people you cared about? It’s a dilemma. I think it boils down to how you do it.

    “Never treat anyone with disrespect, no matter what they believe in.” such good advice for all of us. Thanks, Church Lady.

    1. Well, when it comes to spreading the Reese’s love, I would go for it.

      I hear you, Peggles. I happen to believe in a loving source of energy that we are all a part of and always will be. I believe in reincarnation and that we are all growing and learning at our own pace. I do feel an urge to let people know about my beliefs sometimes, but I express myself to others in a non-threatening way by actually living my beliefs: love, acceptance and compassion for everyone (except The Bieb).

  7. ‘Fraid I’ve gotta pass on the third one (chocolate) – I’ve stopped eating it. The rest… I’m a believer turned non-believer (mostly). But with you on all the rest. Whatever’s right for you is fine. Whatever’s right for me is fine. Ditto everyone else. Except Justin Bieber. (Who I’ve never ever listened to. Apparently I’m missing nothing.)

  8. I went to a Parochial school and I turned out okay. Sort of. I always thought the ‘I love you no matter what’ was my Get Out of Jail Free card. I can do whatever I please and I’ll be loved no matter what. I don’t think that was the original intent. It’s like if you get three wishes you’re not allowed to wish for unlimited wishes. Now, I call myself agnostic just to hedge my bet. I won’t say I’m a full-blown atheist just in case they’re wrong.

    It seems the deeper someone sinks into a religion–and this goes for Christians and Muslims especially–the more important it is for everyone else to believe the same thing. Like, they’re offended if you beliefs are different so they damn you. It’s crazy! Can’t they just be grateful for their tax-free status and leave everyone alone?

    I’m going to pray you write more.

    1. That’s what I don’t get at all. This need to condemn/judge others who don’t believe the same thing or go to the same church. Get over yourself, already.

      And I appreciate any and all prayers. I have lost my writing mojo and don’t know if it will ever come back. Sigh.

  9. I feel like there must be a Southern baptist hymnal that could be converted to, “Poop away, my child, poop away.”

    Love this post. I’m often back and forth on what I believe exactly. I stumbled upon Christian agnosticism recently, and I think that fits nicely, even if it does sound contradictory at first.

  10. I never once pooped in a church’s bathroom. I guess it has to do with fearing that “do you have a few minutes to talk about God?” polite knock on a stall door, with no way of escaping or pretending I’m not there.

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