An admission and a request

This one’s gonna be long. I appreciate your patience.

Some thoughts I had this morning while getting ready for church (I went to early service today) and waiting for service to start, now fleshed out a little bit…

You know, I’m a sad, sad creature. For five months now, I have been living in Birmingham, and I still don’t attend any church regularly here. Oh, I’ve gone to church a few times, but it’s been a half-hearted attempt at best. My excuses for not going have been many, and all of them not good. Let’s examine them one by one. I realize that the counter-arguments for all of these are trivial, but trust me, it does me good to write them down.

  • I don’t have a job yet, so it’s embarrassing to go to church.

First, the country’s in a recession; lots of people don’t have jobs right now. Second, my spiritual need far outweighs my financial need right now. Third, people wouldn’t know that I didn’t have a job unless I explicitly said I didn’t, and even then they’d understand, given the current climate.

  • I don’t want to get attached, since I might not stay in Birmingham.

This is a reason to not join a church here in town. It’s not a good reason to attend church at all. I don’t necessarily have to join a church right now, but it always does me good to attend church.

  • I don’t know anyone.

Well, first off, this isn’t entirely true. At Dawson, where I’ve been going the times that I have gone, I know Ricky and Tammy (they just aren’t in the Sunday school class that I’d be in, and they can’t sit with me in church because they’re in choir). I also know my friend Sarah Frey (formerly Elmore) from the MBA Program (ditto on the Sunday school class).

But even in just the realm of a new Sunday school class, it isn’t a good argument. It isn’t anyone else’s fault that I don’t know anyone. The problem with this argument, as it pertains to a new church, Sunday school class, etc., is that it’s a vicious circle. I don’t know anyone, so I don’t go, so I don’t know anyone, and so on. If I had used this mentality concerning the BCM the part of the freshman year that I went (and trust me, I almost did), I’d never have met so many people who are so close to me now. Introversion is one thing; lack of effort on my part is quite another. No one can get to know me if I don’t make myself known.

  • People will see my imperfections.

This is the weakest argument of all. It stems partly from the first argument, partly from introversion, and partly from good old-fashioned vanity. I even considered not going to church today because of a couple of shaving bumps on my face! This is when I had the mental ice-cold water thrown in my face, and when this whole line of thought began.

I’ve forgotten something very key: being a Christian (part of which is church attendance) is an acknowledgement and even an admission of imperfection. Simply coming to church shows that I realize I need a higher being to lift me from what I am without Him. (Side note: the first guy who greeted me today had a shaving bump just above his lip. I love the way God works.)

Anyone can see that these are all poor excuses. So I’m not going to make them anymore. I might not end up in Birmingham, but until I move off (if I do so), I will be attending church here on Sundays. No excuses. I hold myself accountable to all pressing on… readers from this day forth. I would appreciate any e-mails helping me to stay accountable in this area of my life.

2 thoughts on “An admission and a request

  1. Mrs. Stewart, Tammy's mom and Ricky's new mom-in-law

    I am praying for you and Tammy about the job situation.I think it is a great idea to go to a church even though you don’tknow where you will be at a later date. You will be blessed!

  2. Casey T

    Brandon, you don’t even sound like your old self. I just wanted you to know that I am praying that God will lead you to a fellowship where you will experience spiritual renewal and establish Christian social contacts. Now, having said that, God may lead you somewhere, but you still have to take the initiative to go! God wants to bless you everyday in everyway. He will bless your actions, your thoughts, your contacts, and every aspect of your life if you just let Him. You are fearfully and wonderfully made! Get out there and get blessed and don’t worry about what those other imperfect people out there may think. By doing so, you will surely be a blessing to others as you have been to me. (stepping off my soapbox) I pray that you have a great day, full of peace that surpasses understanding as you lay your burdens at the feet of the Lord.


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