Sunday, April 20, 2014

Semiannual Christians, But Not Really

As usual, I'm supposed to be studying now. But it's still early enough in my current rotation that I can follow my latest inspiration and get this post down.
I don't post about religion much, even though I am religious and I try to pray often and earnestly.
I don't get a lot of explicit religious inspiration these days, because I don't take out my Bible as often as I should, and I definitely don't go to church as often as I'd like. I know that going to church isn't always equated with spirituality, especially in a traditional service where you find yourself just going through the motions of prayer. But I like going and having that structure there to help guide my prayer (not to mention many priests/ministers/preachers/pastors/etc. are aware of this problem and trying to inject more life into their services).
One of the guys I do draw inspiration from (and who I have mentioned multiple times on this blog) is my good friend Aaron. He shared a picture on his Facebook wall today that was funny (because it combined two of his favorite things, coffee and Jesus) and awesome (because of its message).

I was going to share this on my wall because, as stated, I thought it was funny yet thought-provoking. And then my provoked thoughts came to the realization that, inadvertently, I am one of those Christians that only attends church a couple times a year. It's usually more  frequently than just Christmas or Easter, but especially in medical school I haven't felt like I could take Sunday morning off from studying to go to church. I have never been one to openly judge the "semiannual Christians" - as I know I have referred to them before - that only come to church on the two biggest holidays, but I'm sure that somewhere in the back of my head I made note that I only ever saw them twice a year, whereas I could be seen in that church every Sunday.

Now I am at a point in my life where I am constantly conscious of how much studying I should be doing and how much paperwork/data entry I need to have done and how busy my schedule is. And suddenly I understand much better how church attendance falls by the wayside.
Incidentally, my parents (who go to church faithfully every week) came up to visit this weekend and I did go to church with them (it's Easter, after all). I got to hear the ever-passionate Father Pat jump for joy at the resurrection of Jesus - and that is the other reason I like going to church. That passion, that joy, to me is infectious.
When I'm not in church, as I try to live a Christian life with good morals and actions, I still try to remember to pray, and I try to read the Bible, at least on Sundays (I even have an app!). And I wonder how many of those other semiannual Christians work even longer hours than I have now? How many want to go to church, but are on call on Sundays, or have group projects and the only time they have to work on them is Sunday, or have to provide for and care for their children or relatives or even strangers on Sundays?
How many of us semiannual Christians aren't semiannual at all, but simply celebrate or reflect on our faith in buildings other than churches?

P.S. Happy Easter, everyone! He is Risen. :)