20100730

Flashback Friday

This is a meme i have seen around. This one is from Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee (a blogging friend i have made). I've not really run with it before, but this one caught my attention and spoke to me some.Who knows, maybe it will become a regular...

Did your family attend church when you were growing up? What are your earliest memories of church? Did you attend VBS (Vacation Bible School) when you were young? Sunday School? Other church activities? Was faith a Sunday-only thing or did it impact your life and the things you did? If faith and church were not a part of your growing-up years, when and how did you begin and what drew you to God?

My earliest memories of church were when my mom had to take us to a Nanny/Sitter during the week in Philadelphia, PA.We would walk to school by, and some times attend a weekday service of some kind with them.  My memories of that church are of the black/dark gray stonework exterior, and a not very well lit interior.  On weekends during this same time, my mom would put my brother and i on a bus that came through our neighborhood to take kids to Sunday School.  I don't remember much beyond that.

While i lived with my father in NYC (after my mother had almost killed herself, and during a two year(ish) custody battle, my only memories of anything church related was a Catholic Church on the corner of the block we lived on.  This one also had a stone exterior, but where the one in Philly was a course finish and dark, this one was smooth and white.  We never attended (that i remember) church services during this time, but i do remember 'terrorizing' the congregants as they exited mass, or from a wedding.  Zipping by on my bike, or playing cops and robbers with the neighborhood kids.

After my mom regained custody of my brother and i, i remember my mom doing things like getting us involved with the local Youth group at a nearby church at times.  That church was a more modern architectural design.  Lot's of windows and a gym come to mind.

Later, i remember actually going to a Korean Church service with my friend from school.  The services were all in Korean... i had no idea what they were saying.

The summer i spent with my cousins in West Virgina (THE absolute best summer of my entire childhood) brings memories of a more traditional Southern style building.  My oldest cousin (I called him "Uncle", and still do) was the Pastor at the Baptist church there.  A white building with steps from the outside leading up to the sanctuary.  Long additions for classrooms, etc.  In the sanctuary long wooden pews on a wood floor.  We sat in the front row every Sunday.  I remember the first one or two Sundays falling asleep right there in front of everybody.  This was also the first summer i remember attending VBS,  I made some good friends (but due to a character flaw of mine - never kept in touch), and some good memories.

My last memory of church as a child is of being taken by the mother of a guy who my mom was "attached" to.  One story building, wooden pews and wooden floors.  When communion came i got up and went forward.  I remember they used real wine (instead of grape juice) and it was unexpected.  Growing up with my mom, and a few other experiences, i was not real keen on such things.  So when i left that morning the preacher/pastor/minister/priest asked me what i thought of the service.  All i could think of to say was that i didn't like the taste of the wine.

God took His time leading me to Himself.  I truly believe that He used all of these experiences in my life.  Although i did not surrender my life to Him until i was in my twenties, He was slowly, persistently, calling to me.  Revealing Himself ever so slightly to a very fragile young man.  A boy who could not really make sense of the ever changing world around him, who was tossed on the waves of life, but every so often would crest a wave and catch a glimpse of Him standing upon the waves waiting patiently.

2 comments:

Yeve Eeffoc said...

Very interesting to read about the road that you went down to find Him.

Sometimes I am still amazed at how He is always calling us toward Him, even when we don't really see/hear/feel it.

Ace said...

I didn't come to the Lord until my twenties, either, and like you I spent much of my childhood going to Sunday School or VBS, but it never "stuck." By my teen years I rejected it completely and spent several years searching for "something" through just about every alternative means...eastern philosophies, witchcraft, alcohol, guys.

Once I did heed His calling, I looked back and was amazed at how many times I could see that He had sent someone into my life to try and reach me, that even though I had rejected Him...he had never failed to remain faithful to me.

This was a good meme...enjoyed reading your memories and thinking about my own journey.