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I thought I had my identity all figured out until I stepped out of church yesterday (Sunday). It hit me that I'd been church hunting for almost a year, and I was still like the proverbial hen balancing on one foot.
This is why:
I want a fairly lively church (to placate the happy clappy, feet dancing, expressive side of my identity i.e. African)
I want a church service that lasts no longer than 2 hours ( You see, I operate on British time)
I want a church that has a sense of community (Again, panders to my African roots)
But, I don't want relationships to get too personal (Imbibed Western/British ideas of personal space)
I want a church that is organized (Yeah, British influence)
This is what I found:
- Kept to time
- A tad lively
- Painfully impersonal: get in, sit through service & get out
Verdict: My humanity not acknowledged. Goodbye.
- Very very lively
- Sense of community
- Too close for comfort (obligatory 'greet one another', which entailed tight, lung compressing hugs, were not for me)
- Time simply did not exist. Services were ad finitum
Verdict: No regard for my time. Au revoir.
- Very prompt
- Superficially friendly
- Soporific, prop eyes open with toothpicks, boring service
Verdict: Yaaawn. Tires screeching. Be right back buddy!
- Service no more than 2hrs
- Communal atmosphere
- Friendly (if you can establish a clique to hang out with every Sunday)
- Short on organization
Verdict: Hmm...if you weren't an hour away, I would survive
Deep sigh. I know, the perfect church does not exist. But this isn't just about church. I can detail how the same scenario plays out in the workplace and everyday relationships and interactions.
Just occurred to me today that the more you travel and imbibe new cultures and practices, the more challenging it becomes to fit into a defined space or mold. I'm all for fluidity and open mindedness, but it does come at a price.
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