Many is the Sunday morning when I sometimes stop and realize, usually anywhere between 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, that at one point in my life I probably would have been sitting in the pew at church. Although I was never an overly regular church-goer back in the day, I tried to attend when I could.
This morning I was out on the lake near where I live, kayaking. As I was paddling back towards the park where I launched from, at around 10:00 am I stopped for a moment and realized that if I was still a Christian Scientist, I’d probably be one of maybe a half-dozen folks sitting in the pews at the local Christian Science Society here where I live (and I’m including the Readers, Ushers, Organist, and Soloist). I looked around as I floated on the glass-smooth water, and realized that this was my church now–right there, out on the lake in the peacefulness of the morning light, before the lake is given over to the power boats.
I’ve had many similar Sunday morning moments like this over the past few years when I’ve been out hiking, skiing, or mountain biking, as well as kayaking. Being outdoors and enjoying the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounds me here where I live is a more spiritual experience than any I ever had in church. I doubt I’ll ever again warm the pew of any church, except if I’m at some sort of function like a wedding at a church. Nature is my church. It calms me, and renews my spirit. Most importantly, it doesn’t demand my fealty, or money–just enough simple respect to leave it as I find it. That’s the way I like it.