he Future is Wild is playing from the next room, my spouse is reading the newspaper, I am drinking coffee in my jammies. Later we might go for a hike. It’s Sunday and I’m not at church.
It’s not that I’m adverse to church, or synagogue or any other form of religious faith. It’s that I’m not sure how to steer my family toward a life that includes a faith-based day and uncertain that I have the drive to commit to it for the long haul. I keep telling myself, If one-quarter of Americans can do it, so can I, right?
An ongoing Gallup Poll research study suggests that about 40 percent of Americans attend some kind of religious services, while nearly 10 percent consider themselves faithful but rarely show up for services. Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (a dang interesting resource for information) demonstrates that geography and type of faith guide how often people attend religious services and the more urban, the lower the percentage of attendees. Again, I find myself just a statistic.
Recently, the Catholic church has gone on a get-butts-in-seats media blitz asking its faithful to return to regular services.The problem is, ditching Church is not a sin. If it ain’t a sin, I’m pretty certain my spouse would pick watching the Raiders get pummeled over a couple beers than go to Church.
But my issue isn’t faith, my issue is logistics. A mom’s job sucks sometimes. How do I convince my children that getting out of their P.J.s and foregoing homemade pancakes with warm syrup in order to go to church is a good idea? Worse, I’ve got to somehow guilt my spouse into thinking that we are simply going to ruin our children if we don’t go to church; that we alone cannot be moral guides enough, they need to attend services. I guess I could tell her that52 percent of California children attend weekly services. But she might come right back at me with the fact that California ranks in the bottom 20 states when it comes to children attending regular religious services.
Oh man, how am I — as the self-appointed Board of Directors, Faith Inc. of our home — supposed to get my brood to church when I am not sure I’m buying it either? Another cup of coffee sounds pretty fricking good right about now.
I was raised Catholic, attending some form of Mass daily. I didn’t mind it at all. We have a faithful home and I’ve got a tramp-stamp to prove it. But life with kids always seems disjointed between nap and school schedules, sporting events, community events, and friends and family obligations. Suddenly Sunday seems sacred — and not in the church-going sense.
Then again, all of the obligations of life with kids could go away and I still am not sure I have it in me to pull my family out of their comfy Sunday morning to learn more, be taught more, not fidget in their seats more, be good girl/good boy any more. It’s Sunday and mommy thinks it’s time to chill.