I spend a lot of time fighting with my inner self about who I am, what I need vs. want, whether I’m a good person, how I relate to the world around me. And food, of course. You name it, I’ve had inner dialogues about it.
But one area that has gotten very short-shrift these last few years has been my spiritual life. I stopped going to church when I was ready to murder the choir director every time I saw him; it was somewhat in conflict with the concept of worship. I didn’t know how to worship if I wasn’t sitting in the choir loft after 40 years of singing in church choir. So I just gave myself a little sabbatical that has been extended for about 6 years.
I never stopped believing in God; I was just taking a break from church. It’s time to get off my butt and find a place where I can worship again. I am a choir person to my toes and need to sing – it’s how I worship and a way for me to empty myself of the busyness of the world and relax into knowing there is more than what I see around me. I miss the music but also the community that choir members form so easily. I’m rather isolated now and miss that sense of family that comes with belonging to a choir. Note that the “altopower” of my blog address does not come from playing an instrument; I am an alto and proud of it.
Today is Ash Wednesday. Until 6 years ago, this was a big deal day with heavy-duty music and big service. I wasn’t up for all of that this year, although there are certainly many places where I could slip into a pew and worship. Instead, I started off this morning at the university chapel, sitting with a small group beneath the warm sunlit colors of red and blue in the stained glass windows, saying Morning Prayer and receiving the imposition of ashes.
I didn’t know anyone but that didn’t matter. What mattered to me was the comfort of shared liturgy, the stillness of the place, the chance to hear words of prayer, of scripture, of meditation, and feeling a sense of being home in the quiet.
For me to be a whole person, I can’t just work on my body. My spiritual life needs to be fed and refreshed as well. I exist in one but when I remember that my real self isn’t in the limbs and pounds and physical limits of the body, I can soar and not be alone and find peace.
It’s time to find a choir and a church where I can be all of me again.