"I went to a church for the first time in my life"

Written: 7 January, 1985

The best thing that happened to me during the Christmas vacation was... was... well, actually NOTHING really happened to me during the vacation, only bits of pieces and fragments of reality's boredom. I received a terrible cold (which still lingers within me) and had to suffer through the Christmas time with a runny nose. I endured, however, and soon found myself going to West Grange with my sister to purchase for my mother's birth-day some odd little item that has at this moment slipped from my collective memory. I think it was window cleaner.

I went to a church for the first time in my life and [when I got home] my Dad was telling me a tale about Lucifer and God. As the story progressed, my dad said, "And God, I imagine, became very sad because..." And I interrupted and said, "How can God feel emotions? Wouldn't that subject him to human feelings? Like love? hate? jealousy? fear?" My dad told me that God made man in the image of Himself. If man has emotions, then so must God. And then I said, "Well, if God can have human emotions, God can change and become mad and bad -- is that a God fit for worship?"

This is how I spent my vacation...

[Modern Postscript (7/29/2000): I think after I asked my dad that question, he said something like "Gee, I wish you wouldn't ask me questions like that." Here's the story behind my first trip to a church: At the time I wrote the above entry, there was a girl in my art class who I learned was a Christian. (Over the years, I found it amusing that I was often befriending people whom I'd subsequently would learn were Christians. I liked them because they seemed to be interested in morality as I was, although I was not religious and not raised that way.) There was a youth event at night where kids would go to Chuck E. Cheese and to an event to hear a speaker at a church, so the girl invited me to come along and I did so. I remember distinctly the altar call at the end, where people are encouraged to walk up front to accept Christ based on the stirring words of the speaker, but I stayed put in my seat, still unconvinced, and I hoped my friend wouldn't feel bad about my sitting still. It was an enjoyable event, and when I was dropped off at my house at the end of the night, I found my mom and dad there, and somehow the conversation was about God. In retrospect, I think that my parents might have been surprised that I had gone to a church event and maybe they felt that they ought to finally talk about the Bible with me since they hadn't talked much about it before. Basically my dad did the talking, telling me an Old Testament story, probably about Adam and Eve. That was it basically.

I had been 14 for almost 2 months when I first went to a church, circa December 1984/January 1985. The next time I would attend a church would be when I was almost 29 years old, around September 1999.]