I stumbled on this post I wrote for The Muse NG and it was a great throwback for me. So, I decided to share it with you! Enjoy 🙂
I’m not an atheist. Far from it. I am a true lover of God and I am not ashamed of it. Every Sunday I make an effort to look my best as I go into the house of God to fellowship with my fellow brethren. I get soaked in the whole experience; the energy-filled praise, the inspiring worship…it literally takes me to the mercy seat.
As I bask in the goodness of the residue of such powerful worship session, the Pastor comes up to give the word of the day. Ah the word. I’m ready to hear what God has for me. But then the Pastor says something that throws me off balance. Turn to your neighbour and say, “I am happy you are here today.” I turn to my neighbour and see this mean looking man. He mutters those words with his last breath like someone put a gun to his head. I shift my seat away from him a little as the Pastor says, “Take your seat.” Awkward moment one contained. Phew.
So there I am enjoying the message. The Pastor is really hitting some important areas. I write furiously in my notepad, not wanting to miss a syllable. And then he says it again, “Turn to your neighbour and say neighbour, I love you.” “Dear God, have I not already turned to my neighbour today? Why must I go through this again?” Of course I am not going to turn to Mr Terminator to my right. I decide to turn to my left. Maybe I will have better luck with this neighbour. Maybe not. Neighbour to my left turns out to be a little creepy, but I say it as fast as I can with the fakest smile in the world, “I love you.” Awkward moment number two over and done.
We return to the word. Finally, order has been restored. I get back to taking notes but then the sight of something stops me. I see the neighbour to my left digging for gold. From the viciousness with which he was turning his nose back and forth, he was digging really deep. He takes that lovely hand, rubs it on the second hand and continues listening to the message while keeping a straight face throughout. That guy is hardcore to say the least. Then I hear those words again and this time, I am filled with fear because I am aware of the impending disaster that is about to happen. “Give three people a high five and say it is your time!” “Nooo” my brain screams as I see the offending hand slowly landing towards me. It’s too late to duck. Where will I duck to? I am sandwiched between six people. If only the usher had listened to me when I told her I prefer aisle seats. Awkward moment number three…epic fail.
Needless to say I took part in transferring a bag of bacteria to the people around me. I looked at my hand, still in shock at what just happened. Then he said it again, “Turn to your neighbour…” “No Pastor, I don’t want to turn to my neighbour and say anything” I scream as I take my bag and storm out of Church. Sigh, if only. I just look on and acquiesce in this unnecessary evil I have to deal with every Sunday morning.
Must we always turn to our neighbour?