Its been 2 Sundays now that I’ve attended a Christian worship. At first, I was only invited for the sole purpose of recognition for the good deed we’ve done to the people who suffered from the recent super typhoon Pablo (Bopha) that hit Mindanao last December 5. And during the Christian service, I couldn’t help but compare it to what I was used to, which is the Catholic faith. To be honest, it felt weird because the way they worship Jesus is so different from the way Catholics do their worship. At first, I found it funny because people were singing with so much intent, with matching hand gestures, body movements, raised hands, and over enthusiasm.
I wanted to laugh, because i’m not used to seeing that kind of worship and I usually just see that kind of worship on TV and sometimes, I think of them funny and called their worship pathetic. But then, as I was there, seeing it first hand, I began to understand. I went deeper into myself, dug up that understanding as to why they have that kind of worship. I think its because they felt closer to God that way. That’s something that I’ve never had. I listened at the pastor intently as he was giving the message of God. At some point again, I couldn’t help but compare. The Catholic church has this routine; the same routine over and over and over again which sometimes lead you to question the genuinity of faith. With this service, its different, because the prayers are not scripted/memorized and are directly addressed to God/Jesus Christ. They are formed directly from the heart, directly from what you feel.
The first time, I was observing. I wasn’t raising my hand when everybody else was raising theirs, nor was i singing like everybody else. It still felt weird for me so I just observed and listened and kept an open mind. The second time, I tried opening my mind even wider/bigger and tried to pray the way they are praying with the hand gestures (raising hands); and true enough, i did not feel a heavy heart while doing the worship. It came out as natural as it could be. I wasn’t thinking of what people would think when they see me because everyone was doing the same thing. It felt good. It felt really good and I want more. There were no pretensions and I believe no one’s judging you for worshiping because the center is God.
Some people, especially Catholics MAY think this post as blasphemous as I’m comparing the Catholic faith with a different faith. With the constraints of religion, that’s likely to happen. I know because my parents did when they knew about it. But I still have a great respect to Catholicism since that’s the faith that build my foundation in searching for divine intervention. That’s the religion I grew up with. But I don’t think I’m growing spiritually with the same faith. I’ve been lost once and tried looking for myself. I think I found my spiritual self with the Born Again faith thanks to my friend and his family who brought me there, who invited me to their praise and worship and became the instruments of a new spiritual journey for me. The welcome was overwhelming. They took me as part of their family and as part of their church.
And I pray to God that these friends, along with Jesus, that they help me, guide me and nurture my journey to spiritual growth.
I also pray that this journey would also be the start of my journey to becoming a better person, not only to myself but also to others.