This has been a weird weekend. I did not go to church this morning, which for me is not normal. Now, for the past five weeks I of course haven’t been to my own church, but I always go to church, even when I’m on vacation or medical leave. But today, because of various reasons involving my wife’s schedule and my two-year-old son, I stayed home. On the other hand, I went out late last evening, which is also unusual for me on a Saturday night. My most excellent friend (and Pinewood-Men co-creator) Pete and I attended the first Nerd Nite Bethlehem. It was a fun evening at SteelStacks, described kind of like a low-key “nerdy” Ted Talk. We heard three speakers talk in a very enthusiastic and entertaining way about their nerdy loves, like television piracy and AI comedy robots. I’m glad I went, and from a depression standpoint, it was good to get out and do something. I have been more social lately than I’d been in months, and it’s probably a good thing.
But I can’t shake this feeling of guilt. I gathered with a hundred or so people this weekend, but not for the reason I usually do. I listened to people up front singing praises, and I felt a great level of affinity with them, but the praises they sang were not directed to the place my praises usually are on the weekend. It just feels wrong, like I didn’t do enough. I could have worked out going to church. I could have found a church with a Saturday service last evening. I could have taken my son with me to church somewhere this morning. But I didn’t. I took the path of least resistance. I was out late last night, and I even slept in. It just didn’t feel right. It still doesn’t feel right.
Part of me knows that it’s okay. That it’s okay to miss church once in a while. That it’s okay especially when the reason has to do with making life a little easier on my family. Part of me knows it’s okay to do something fun, and to spend some time with a good friend. And I don’t believe that God is condemning me for this. But I’m disappointed in myself right now. I don’t like this feeling. And honestly, it feels bigger than this weekend. I feel like I’m not doing the right thing left and right right now. Like I’m just being self-absorbed and lazy. Like I’m just taking the path of least resistance and coasting. Like I’m not accomplishing anything.
I don’t like this feeling. But I think it’s the voice in my head, the voice who has told me for years and years, “You should have known better.” The voice who has told me for years and years, “You are a failure.” Hello, voice. Welcome back. “I never left,” he says. Yes, I know. But I have my daughter’s birthday party this afternoon, voice. So how about you shut up for a while, and let me be a good father.
Sigh. This is my life. It will be a good afternoon. My job is to wrangle the toddler while my daughter and her friends have fun. It will be good. And I’ll deal more with that stupid voice later. But for now, I will forgive myself for any mistakes I’ve made this weekend, and I will just do my best the rest of the day. That’s all I’ve got, when it comes down to it, isn’t it?