When I was working I had a weekly routine that was filled with activities. Teaching was my passion so most of my energy and time was devoted to the job that I loved. I had waited for my career until after I had my children.
Shortly after I started teaching, I changed the Christian denomination I belonged to because I lost trust in the leaders. I joined a church which was welcoming. I still belong to that church, but as we all have aged we aren’t as fervent in worship as we once were.
My Christian walk has been a journey with many ups and downs. There were times when I merely went to church for the weekly message and then went on my way. When I finally began seriously studying the Bible, I needed more. My views on life and on others started to change.
Change is not easy especially when you start looking at yourself. Sharing your faith with others can make you vulnerable. I found out that it involves forgiveness, patience, kindness, and love for others even when I don’t want to be loving. Many days I fail. I am still a work in progress.
Finding a faith community where you feel comfortable is important for growth at any stage in your life. The key is community. The Bible called us “the body” of Christ. But after years of being in the same church, I now find I might be too comfortable. We socialize, we pray for each other if there is a need, we study and worship together. But “the body” refers to all Christians.
Retirement is a good time to stretch your faith and get out the comfort zone of your own church. I am now taking the time to visit other churches. It is not that I will change my membership, but I want to be open to other ways of worship. Though worship styles are different, our God isn’t. Worship needs to be energetic. We serve an Awesome God and for an hour a week it needs to be all about him. I found a church nearby that is full of that energy. Their worship is louder than I am used to, but is so genuine. I’ll admit I wasn’t comfortable at first, but I am so drawn to their boldness in worship. Many of them are new to the faith, but they have fallen in love with Jesus and it shows. I am learning from them.
Maybe I will have an opportunity to share my story at this other church or maybe their stories will change me. I am grateful that I stepped out to see other worship styles.
Get out and stretch!