For a long time, I had considered going to church. As someone who had never gone before, religion fascinated me. As someone who was always a thinker, I always believed that there just had to be something out there. We had to have come from some sort of Surpeme Being.
For part of high school, I had made a deal with myself that I’d start going “when I got older.” At least when I had a car, and could take myself.
Then, one week as a senior in high school, it dawned on me, “I have a car.” And I decided to go that Sunday. That first church service was ten years ago this weekend (February 29, 2004).
The year before, I had taken a humanities class where we spent a quarter of the year talking about the various world religions. I wanted answers. I wanted to know what was true. I was in a group that ended up getting B’ahaism (which I was pretty sure wasn’t true). I pretty much wrote off the eastern religions, because I questioned “if reincarnation were real, how are there so many more people now than there used to be?”
Before you argue that logic, let’s just remember that I was 17.
Judaism really resonated with me. As we read sections of the Old Testament, the idea of A God made sense, the idea of one divine entity who created people and who was loving made sense.
When we got to Christianity, I felt that this Jesus guy unnecessarily complicated things. The idea of God made sense. The idea of some guy with a beard, for someone who had never really heard about him before, did not.
But after continuing to think about these things, and be interested in religion, that February day I decided to go to church. Even though I liked Judaism, in the year which had past, I had warmed up a bit to the idea of Christianity. And considering that there wasn’t a huge Jewish population in Columbus, I decided to start going to actual churches. My plan was to visit all kinds of different churches, and really seek things out.
The first church I visited was, logically, the closest church to my house. A Presbyterian Church. The people were friendly, and the church had just begun a series going through the book The Purpose Driven Life. I didn’t know anything about church. For most of the first year, I wore a dress shirt and tie to church every week, because I thought that’s what people who went to church did (although I was actually going to a pretty contemporary church where most of the guys didn’t dress like that, especially teenagers!)