Diary of an Exile
Thanks to various events, today was the first time that my self-imposed exile from church required me to stay at home while my family went off without me. It’s a very strange feeling.
The first (and hardest) question was what to tell the boys about why Daddy isn’t coming with them. I wanted to say that I wasn’t enjoying church at the moment (which is simple and accurate), but that would invite the response that they don’t enjoy it, so they don’t want to go either. I’m not sure how I feel about them going to church to be taught things I don’t believe, but nor do I want to be responsible for them not going. At least, not like that. So we just told them I was busy doing things at home. We’ll need to come up with something better soon.
Explaining to other people was easier. Short version: I need a break from church. Long version: and here’s why, and what I think about it. I don’t want to make a big deal about anything, but that should do the trick for anyone who asks after me.
I don’t know what to do with myself on a Sunday morning. On the rare occasions that I’ve not been in church, it was because I had something else to do, and there were other people around. I feel like I’ve suddenly got some free time, but I also feel like I should be doing something useful with that time so that I can’t be accused of being lazy. Maybe I’m a slave to other people’s perceptions, but I want it to be clear that I have clear and principled reasons for what I’ve done.
So what did I do? Some work around the house, a bit of reading, and a bit of messing about online. I’d call that partial success.
Staying at home felt liberating, but also strangely lonely. Like it or loathe it, I’ve turned my back on a community, and at the moment, I have nothing to replace it. That’s rather unsettling, as if I’ve cast myself adrift and only then started to look around for some oars.
It’s not that I have any regrets, just that it’s going to take a while to get used to the new situation.
Photo by kevinrosseel, used under morgueFile License