In my many conquests of finding a boyfriend on dating apps *why do I keep thinking this is a good idea?*, I was swiping, and came across a guy who I could totally see fitting into my Instagram photos. Because that’s important right? We matched and started talking. But when he asked about my religion, I was a little thrown off.
We were texting one day, and I mentioned I was seeing a show for free because my friend worked at a theater. Very impressed by all the connections my friends and I have, he messaged the following:
That was a new one. Religion, like politics or sex, something you don’t talk about at the dinner table. Or over text with someone you just matched with two days ago on a dating app. But I am an open book, and will never fail to answer any question, on any topic.
Religion is something that, as I have gotten older, I have definitely separated myself from. I went to private school until 5th grade, and attended church pretty regularly when I was younger. A change of pastors and getting older, and a lot busier, made me really loose my interest in the Sunday service, where the only other guests were screaming children, and older men and women dressed way to formal for the 7AM service. I had heard about churches like Hill Song, and begged my dad to take me to a non-denominational type service like those.
I attended one service with a friend to a non-denominational church, where there were free donuts and coffee. The service is held in an auditorium-like setting, where the pastor was clad in khakis and a quarter zip— the most wholesome image of a dad. I love that service, and that church. The message feels more like a conversation that a preaching, and the live band singing songs are much more engaging than hymns on an old organ.
But so when the boy, whom I didn’t even know, asked about my religion, and if I go to church at home why I don’t go here in New York, I responded truthfully. I just don’t have the time. Which might not be the best reason, but it’s kind of the truth. And going to church doesn’t prove your religion. Religion is tricky. I feel the need to stick to the beliefs I had as a child, even though I question them more now. As I get older, I try to be very realistic about things. But I still do believe there is some sort of higher power, and that there is a separation of good and evil. But I don’t believe that that higher power controls us. I am autonomous, and make my own decisions, and choices, that either lead to mistakes or good choices that move life forward. I’m also a big believer that everything happens for a reason, although that reason may be unknown. I am comfortable with the what I know and what I don’t, and will continue to go to church when I can, and not feel bad about when I don’t.
So to the boy who stopped texting me after I gave him this answer, in a smaller, more conscious paragraph, I am not sorry I don’t go to church here in New York, because I am confidant in myself, my beliefs, and the knowledge I am continuing to learn.