Random Observation/Comment #157: Our new generation is not one built on religion. I know some people who would rather praise the next upcoming processor than an invisible man in the sky. Old routines have maintained the churches, but unless you’re near the Vatican, most establishments don’t seem to be receiving the attendance or donation levels that they used to. The number of believers dwindles as technology shows us the tangible miracles. The community once maintained through Sunday mornings or Friday to Saturday nights is replaced with Facebook and MySpace (just kidding, MySpace sucks). Face time seems less and less important and yet we’re all becoming more and more connected. It’s absolutely fascinating, yet sends chills down my spine, considering the next generation’s social skills (or lack thereof).
I attended the Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral services because I honestly didn’t want to pay to look inside. Arriving a little before 5PM, we told the person at the door that we were there for the service, which gave us the free ticket inside.
I think I’ve only attended church once in my life, in which I spent half of the time sleeping and the other half day-dreaming about evolution. It was (no offense) a waste of my time. I felt no connection, nor did I understand anything in the ritual. I tried to read into the words they asked me to speak, but the mixture of Greek and old English terms just confused me. Accepting a Lord and Savior from 2000 years ago, and begging for forgiveness just seemed to be a little bit of a downer. I firmly believe in reflecting on my own life and trying to repent for my sins in my own ways, but I do not fear this judgment of an all-seeing and all-knowing source.
Regardless of what I believe (or don’t believe), I attended the service to expand my understandings. The architecture of the churches and cathedrals was absolutely incredible. Its size and detail made my eyes glaze over and wonder the immense power of religion to erect such a massive structure. St Paul’s Cathedral amazed me the most, with its large dome and gold-covered-everything. My gaze was always upwards – I wonder if this was the point. I felt a level of appreciation for the artwork, but none of the beliefs seeped through. I stared with a serene expression – it was my visual equivalent of tasting fresh toro. Many people close their eyes to concentrate on a specific sense. I closed all my other senses to memorize the lines and try to grasp my insignificance. It gave me this lonely feeling, yet I could imagine it aiding the love of community formed under one purpose.
The service itself was a ritual wrapped in different sized hats and white robes. The choir sang beautifully, but it’s no comparison to the devil’s music. It took 15 minutes to get through the formalities. If G-d does exist, I think he would be bored hearing the same thing every week. I wonder if He’s like Santa Claus, and needs believers to continue spreading cheer throughout the world. I thought I would also receive some sort of enlightenment from the priest’s readings from a specific part of the text, but it was a simple story with a simple moral. It wasn’t teaching me a way to live my life – it was really just saying, “Life sucked for this guy, you should be thankful and learn his lesson.” In fact, I could have probably read a line from FML and have the same reflective thoughts. Yes, I just said FML was a condensed, and more entertaining, version of some sections in the bible. Smite-ith me.
But, really, what matters is the present. Many of the things that we may regret only linger in our minds. Do most people have enemies? Is holding-grudges still a trend these days? It seems to me that time cures many of these pains and misgivings. Fights have continued through generations where the reason for fighting has been completely lost. Maybe I am more forgiving or more forgetful than most people in this world, but something stupid, like some elementary school teasing, doesn’t warrant any extreme actions. I wouldn’t personally know, but does that scarred childhood cause an inherent blindness to the beauties of today? Don’t we have control of our lives to make it better instead of wallowing in some self pity and blaming it on someone else? Unless you’re building a time machine to change the past, there’s nothing to do but go through the phases and rebuild your life. You can start a drug problem or be self-destructive, but these are all just distractions from being productive.
Introducing logic to an emotional problem may be easier for an outside perspective, but I hope time does heal those who need it. We are adaptive creatures – I’m sure everyone can muster the strength to overcome obstacles and achieve personal goals.
~See Lemons Mumble
What a good idea to wait on line for a service. You can enjoy not only the beautiful design but the atmosphere and
life movie of the church.