Many of you may remember that I was brought up Evangelical Southern Baptist. I was in church 5-6 times a week, and twice on Sundays.
Once I left home to go to college, I moved away from that. It wasn't an instant rending, more like a slow weaning away, and I haven't re-assumed that lifestyle at any point in all the years since. And if I'm being totally honest and truthful...I haven't wanted to or felt like I needed to.
Please know that I'm not disrespecting any of you with a deep and abiding faith in whatever religion fuels your soul. I admire your convictions, I respect your right to worship in whatever way you choose, and I think it's wonderful if that faith leads you to do and be a force for good in this world.
I firmly believe in all of that, and I work toward that myself, just without the "church six times a week" part.
Anyway....I was very active in my church choir, and a frequent soloist in my church's music program (as well as performing at other christian venues during church camps. etc.) and singing was a big and vital part of my spiritual life for many, many years.
Which brings me to a few days ago, when I was punching around the radio stations in my car, looking for something that didn't sound like everything else out there right now. I went way beyond my normal spectrum of channels and happened upon a local church broadcast that does a solid hour of hymns in the afternoon.
At first, I switched away. I felt sort of...I don't know...hypocritical singing hymns. After all, I'm not living that life. But then I realized that I sang a ton of religious music in high school choir meant for chorale groups in cathedrals and I wouldn't hesitate to sing those songs now. I've even attended a few "Messiah" sing-alongs during the holiday season over the years and loved every minute of it. Beautiful music is beautiful music, after all.
So I switched back over and I sang. And I sang. And I sang. I slipped easily from melody into harmony, and I knew nearly every word by heart still. For a moment, I was sitting in a pew with my Mom and my friends and it was like putting on a warm coat for a little while - albeit one that doesn't fit so well anymore. I spent the rest of my commute singing as I haven't sung is so many years.
It was good.
I'm still fine where I am, but now I get to add my voice to theirs once a week, on my commute home, if I'm in the mood.
Sometimes, it's good to go back to your old life for a little while, even if you don't want to stay for more than an hour.