today i eschewed myself from another religious ceremony that i felt would enslave me for hours by their harangue, their evangelization, their rites, and their ceremonies about god and religion. i got suffocated by the ceremonial attempts to induce you to that all familiar state of trance, by the off key playing of the piano, the praise singers upstaging each other in chaos, and the sing-song way of preaching of the pastor. please don’t judge me. i have been to several similar situations in the past but the last time i found myself in a religious group with “jesus” and “christ” included in their group name i was able to tolerate and survive it for a year.
the scenario was no better than what i experienced the last time i attended the eucharistic rites of the roman catholic church. you can hear meowing newborns like tiny copulating kittens, you can hear incessant murmurs from all corners of the church, you can hear the running and the galloping sounds of the toddlers running around, you can notice the off key singing of the choir leader, you will hear the static noise of the speakers placed near the entrance, and you can never fail to hear and notice the noise of the talkative wandering minds of the people seemingly listening to the gospel. there were distractions everywhere. i don’t like it when my mind wanders off during mass instead of praying. i also did not finish that mass. i went out and prayed underneath the shade of the tree that is more peaceful and quiet.
i did the initiative to leave the place because i felt that if i stayed there any longer i may have released the gas of distraction and may have caused the place to burn. ok, i kid. i just don’t want the feeling of something or anything forcing me to take something that i am not willing to take.
i do pray. but i like to pray in my own pace, in my own solitude, in my own free will. i pray at the bus, i pray when i walk downtown, i pray when i’m at the grocery, i pray when i cook, i pray before i sleep, hell, i even pray while i’m having sex. how is that for not praying inside the church?
the church that i’ve been to earlier this day could avoid future runaway audience scenarios if they will only be more pious in following their basic principle about offering god the best. first, get the most able and talented people to sing and play the musical instruments. the best musical experience can haste the elevation to that state of spiritual trance. get, if not the best looking, the well dressed people to welcome and lead the crowd especially the newbies. this is an effective strategy if they want people to come back over and over again to the church. believe it or not, i joined a similar religious organization way back in college just to be closer to my pretty speech professor. next of course to the best looking people are the best preachers who can at least give you decent answers when you hurl an olympic-sized javelin question to them. these are just my two cents regarding the issue. as for my faith, i like to keep it as a deeply personal matter.