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Oh nooo Not the Chuuuurch
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Oh nooo… Not the Chuuuurch!
By Clemon Beamon
When I was younger I dreaded going to church. I can remember countless Sunday mornings where I would purposely lose a shirt, a shoe, a belt or some other article of clothing thinking that that would get me a free ticket to stay at home. It had become a routine with me at one point.
I recall one Sunday morning in particular where I tried this... I waited until it was time to go thinking that Mama would be in such a hurry to leave that she'd tell me to just stay home. I ran to Mama at the last minute in my blue suit and infamous blue bow-tie (I'm the smaller one pictured above)… I was fully dressed except for one shoe.
"Mama, I can’t find my other shoe," I said in my best sad-sounding voice. "Oh nooo… You can’t?" she said sympathetically as she set down her purse and keys. Then, she turned to my brother Carlton and politely asked if she could see his belt for a moment. She took it in her hand, bent down towards me to where our eyes met and said in a more serious tone…"You got 15 seconds to find it!" -- If this had been a cartoon, there would have been a puff of smoke here as I jetted off-- Needless to say I ran in the room, grabbed my shoe and was in the car fully dressed and ready to go with about 10 of those 15 seconds left to spare.
Hmmmm.... Where was I going with this? Oh yeah -
Back then, I thought to myself how I’d stay in the bed and sleep late on Sundays when I grew up. Half my childhood seemed to be spent in church – in addition to going to a Christian school for 8 years where we went to church every Thursday, I was raised a household where my mother and father taught Sunday School, where Mama would make us go to Vacation Bible school and participate in Buds Of Promise for those of you who are familiar, and where on every holiday if you were old enough to speak you were given some kind of speech to say in church even if it was no more than “Happy Easter Day”. So when I hit college, it was like "FREEDOM!" to me in so many ways.
Little did I know that the freedom I called myself having quite honestly meant I was a slave to sin. I mean, I wasn’t a murderer or anything but I had issues as we all do at one point or another. It took some years before I really came to know God for myself. When I was “free”, I first felt guilty for not going to church regularly. Then it shifted into a longing to go; and then it moved to a NEED and a desire to go.
Today, I think back on my younger years and wonder if I would still be lost if not for Mama and Daddy stressing to us how important going to church was. Even when I was in the world, I knew in my heart that I was in a place where I simply did not belong. I guess stuff was sinking into my spirit even when I was on the pew wishing the preacher would hurry it up.
I think Solomon said it best – “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) So now when we pull up to church on Wednesday night and I hear my 5 year old son say, “Oh noooooo… Not the Chuuuurch!” I can’t help but cut a little smile thinking to myself that Trece and I must be doing something right.
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